We did something illegal today - although, in self-defence, I had no idea that it was illegal until my compulsiveness led me to read even more sites about baby bluebirds than usual. Yesterday, one of the youngsters had - well, if not exactly fledged, had emerged from the house, and was sitting - occasionally hopping - around the yard, being fed by parents - who were also feeding another bird back in the birdhouse. Today - no sign of first baby bird. No sign, indeed, of second baby bird, so we looked in the house - and he'd gone (two much much younger siblings had never made it). Consternation - apparently no baby birds, and then I saw one of them sitting on a rock outside the back gate. Left it alone, as one's meant to do. An hour or so later - first baby bluebird reappears from somewhere, and is sitting in water dish, in yard. Look out of bathroom window, and second bb is under a bush out front. So I think - surely they should be together? So I carefully carry water dish round to the front. Pause. Then I see both bbs are in water dish, so I carry it back again - covered with the blue wire mesh thingy designed to keep flies off food so that the stronger bird wasn't tempted to fly off.
This, of course, is Interfering With Wild Birds, and one mustn't do that if one isn't a licensed bird person. But they are now both hopping around the back yard - surrounded by walls - and being fed by relays (two parents, one elder brother from earlier this year), and protected by a bevy of dedicated finches. They are very tiny, and vulnerable, but are flapping and trying their little wings - I think that they are about sixteen days old, and so should, I hope, be able to fly by Tuesday or Wednesday. But oh, the stress: I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else all day.
LucyFur, of course, has some shocking ideas of her own on the matter.