Friday, July 10, 2009

BB Cam update July 10

Well, the bluebird babies are growing rapidly!

If you scroll down to previous blog postings when the babies had just hatched you can see the differences. When first born there was just a little fuzz on their eyes and backside. They were born (hatched) on July 2. The picture above shows them on July 6, at 4 days old. You can see the beginnings of feathers down their backbone and on the edges of their wings. Also, feathers were just barely starting to show on the back of their heads as little dots.

At 4 days old I removed the unhatched egg. Information about bluebirds says that sometimes the mother might remove it herself, but that if it is still there after 3 days it is best to just remove it because it won't hatch if it hasn't by then.

This second photo shows the babies at 8 days old on July 10. Notice the big difference. The birds are much bigger and much darker because feathers are growing. The feathers on the wings look pointed as they grow out. Also, because the birds are bigger they are beginning to fill the TV screen. The mother covers the whole field of view in the camera when she comes in and since the babies are about as big as the parents by the time they leave the nest, it will probably get harder and harder to see what is going on as they grow.

We can watch as the parents bring food in regularly all day long. They started out with small worms, caterpillers, grubs, and especially spiders. But as the babies grow, the food gets bigger. We now see grasshoppers, large grubs, moths, and even, we think, katydids. The babies sometimes have trouble choking them down, but they eventually always do.

We have had many friends stop by to see the action. Everyone seems to be very interested and amazed watching the babies sleep and eat.

I will shoot for another update in 3 or 4 days.

Our second bluebird box in the back yard had 3 eggs in it yesterday morning. I expect that there are 4 there now, but I will check later today.

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