|This Bluebird mother vigorously defends her nest area|
|The male Bluebird feeds the nestlings while the female waits her turn|
Did you know that a mother Eastern Bluebird can be pretty tough when she needs to be? Lately one of our breeding pairs has been quite aggressive around the nest area - especially the female. Every time I walk down the trail adjacent to her nest box she swoops down at me and gives me a good scolding. Who ever said these birds were shy? Well that was probably me that said that in a previous blog. Regardless, this particular pair is anything but shy. The last time I checked inside the box she had six eggs; now, fully 3 weeks later, the young are ready to fledge and the parents are even more defensive. When I last went by the box I was really taking my life in my hands. The female Bluebird came down on me with a vengeance. She swooped at me several times and then landed on a locust branch above my head where she began chattered away. Amazingly, I survived to tell this tale.
|The female flies in to feed|
|Note the gaping mouth of a nestling in the entrance-way|
|The male is feeding now, but the female is flying in right behind him|
|With 6 mouths to feed, both parents are kept very busy hunting up insects|
|The first fledgling out of the box is protected by its fearless parents|
|A Wood Thrush sitting in a freshly finished nest - trying it out for size|
|This Warbling Vireo was singing while sitting on eggs|
|The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak incubates eggs - only his tail and head are visible over the nest rim|
Yesterday one of our crows became a little put out when a Woodchuck wouldn't budge off of her favorite feeding area. I watched the crow hop up to the Woodchuck several times and try to shift the animal, but it was no good. That chuck wasn't about to leave a good thing. Finally the crow came all the way over to the Woodchuck and yanked its tail! Most surprisingly of all, there was absolutely no reaction from the Woodchuck! It was as if this kind of thing happens to him everyday! The crow tried it again, and again there was no reaction from the chuck. What's the fun of being a notorious trickster if no one is going to acknowledge the trick? A squirrel witnessed the entire thing and didn't even come close to chuckling, which would have been the appropriate thing to do in this instance.
|The crow first tries to shift the Woodchuck by cawing at it, but to no avail|
|What's that bird up to now?|
|That crazy bird is about to pull that crazy chuck's tail - And there's a Gray Squirrel for a witness|