A while back, I posted an image of baby Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) in one of our nesting boxes, shortly after hatching. Over the past week, I have set up an enclosed photo blind a ways out, in front of the nesting box. Several times, I have set up my long telephoto lens (500mm + 1.4x teleconvertor) on a tripod inside the blind and made images of the adult bluebirds bringing in food for the little ones. It is amazing at all the different types of insects the parents can find! Here are a few of the images I’ve taken so far:
Female Eastern Bluebird with moth
Male Eastern Bluebird with a Caterpillar worm
Male Eastern Bluebird with Spider
Female Eastern Bluebird with Earthworm
After every few visits, one of the parents can be seen removing a “white blob” in it’s bill. This is a fecal sac, the droppings of one of the young, all contained within a little membrane. The adults routinely remove these to maintain nest sanitation. It is also interesting to note that the adult will fly off with this fecal sac, carrying to a location far from the nesting box. This prevents tipping off a potential predator where an active nest is:
One of my most recent visits to the blind yielded a cool sight … Daddy Bluebird feeding one of the youngsters! In this first image, you can see the male bringing in an earthworm to an eagerly, awaiting mouth:
And … “down the hatch”!