Texas Bluebird Society Season Kick-off
Bluebirders are friendly people as you might imagine! I felt very welcome at my first Texas Bluebird Society meeting Saturday at the Bastrop Convention Center. The meeting was impressively well-run, lots of fun, and packed with good information. I enjoyed meeting my Bluebird-hosting peers. We speak the same jargon of predator baffles and nest box trails, and share an excitement about eggs and baby birds that not everyone can relate to. One bluebirder told me that his Eastern Bluebirds follow him around the yard!
Some Fun Facts About Eastern Bluebirds:
- Mom lays one egg every 24 hours until all her eggs are in the nest (typically 5 little blue eggs), then she begins to incubate the eggs so that they hatch within a few days of each other. The incubation period is 12-14 days.
- Bastrop County, Texas has the highest Bluebird population in the country.
- You don’t find eggshells in or around the nest because Mom eats them (t’s like choking down calcium pills) or carries them away from the nest so as not to attract predators.
- Parents carry each fecal sac out and drop it far from the nest. It’s kind of like changing diapers.
- While Bluebirds eggs are usually blue, white eggs occur at about 4% (we have a nest of 5 right now at Little Piney! This variation is genetic and does not indicate any problems.
- Adult Bluebirds weight about an ounce.
- Bluebird populations may increase after moderately severe forest fires because of habitat improvement.
- Adult Bluebirds are solitary roosters except for when it’s cold. In extreme cold, they pack themselves into nest boxes to share their body heat. In normal conditions, young Bluebirds may roost together in trees, but adults like to sleep
several feet apart.
For More Information on Bluebirds
The Texas Bluebird Society website has a wealth of information about Eastern Bluebirds, and instructions for setting up a nest box in your back yard. So does Sialis.org. You might want the “bluebird of happiness” to nest in your backyard!