pixelated thoughts

Blue, the single-parent bluebird

May 6, 2014

Several weeks ago we realized that a couple of bluebirds were nesting in one of our backyard birdhouses. The excitement and the waiting started, as did my hopes of taking some good pictures of the parents and the chicks. Well, about a week ago they hatched and their parents started the daily back and forth ritual of feeding them. In order to help them, and entice them to bring the babies back, we bought some mealworms. First dried ones, they didn't like them at all. Then, live ones. These worked fine.

Two days ago the female disappeared and now it is only the male doing the feeding. What happened to her is anybody's guess, but the fact is that this male bluebird is doing the job of two. I get tired just watching him, back and forth, looking for food, feeding the chicks, back to looking for food, all day long. Again and again.



After this development, the mealworms were even more important, that way he won't have to travel far to get food. Curious about this, I started reading about bluebird behavior and in doing so I found out that a diet of only mealworm was calcium depleting and that we needed to add some kind of powdered calcium to them. And that started the quest for powdered plain calcium in our neighborhood stores. I can't tell you the way that people looked at us when we were trying to explain our request. Calcium for birds? Finally, we found some plain calcium in pills, which we can mash to mix with the worms.

It really touches me the way that Blue, that's what we are calling him, is caring for his chicks. Hopefully, nothing more will go wrong, and with a little help from us, they will be soon roaming the skies.

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  1. Celia, I enjoyed the pictures of the bluebirds. When i was in Ohio I had boxes and fledged many. Since I’ve been here however, I’ve only had a couple of nestings. I’m still trying to attract the birds.

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