And the bluebirds were there this morning - being fed - and then suddenly, nothing. No parents, no grubs in beak, no cheeps, nothing. Since the same thing had happened (when s/he was a little younger) last year, and I'd opened up the box to find an Unexplained Tragedy, I was so apprehensive this year - have been, for days, as though all the year's pent up anxieties focused on the vulnerable inhabitants of one nesting box, swaying in the wind - it was with some apprehension that I opened it up this afternoon. The first thing I could see was a feather - not good. But I fetched the steps - and that was it. One feather. And an empty nest. And lots of bluebird guano. So I've removed the nest, and cleaned it out, and I'm leaving it to air - and we are as proud and relieved as if we'd laid and hatched and reared them ourselves.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
the empty nest
The bluebirds have flown. Somehow, we managed to miss the exact moment - so we don't know quite how many there were - probably three, judging by the cheeping chorus. The last few days have been very nerve wracking. The bluebird - obviously there was more than one, but we couldn't tell them apart, and so we only ever thought in terms of one - was leaning further and further out - even if being hit, yesterday, by fifty mile an hour winds. S/he was looking at the world from every angle, including examining the menacing mockingbirds, warily. Unlike sparrows, I don't think mockingbirds are predators, but they are terribly territorial. I ended up feeding them the mealyworms we'd bought for the bluebirds (who showed no interest in this sudden expensive food source) in order to distract them the other end of the yard.