June 27, 2022 at 9:00 pm #26652Rich KParticipant
So the story of the single parent has been a really interesting journey the past 5 days. The last I saw the Male was Thursday morning. No idea what happened to him but we do have Coopers and Sharp-Shinned Hawk’s as well as Kestrel’s nearby (part of nature). Luckily I just had a new supply of mealworms from Uncle Jim’s (although that was disappointing as half of them were spoiled, but that’s a story for another day!). I have been feeding mealworms, finely chopped Cranberries and Blueberry Suet three times a day. I kept hearing singing and calling and was sure it was the Male but I turns out it was the Female as I witnessed her doing this first hand. Apparently it is extremely RARE for the Female to sing but she was clearly calling for either her partner OR a new Male.
Whenever I go out to feed her I make a unique squeaking sound with my lips. Within a few minutes tops she will come in, recognizing the call. Starting yesterday she was actually calling BACK to me with a single whistle. I would do the squeak, she would whistle once. I would do it again, she would whistle once. I’m convinced she was calling back to me!
Well, this evening about 6 PM I looked up on the telephone wire in front of our house and low and behold there were 2 Blues sitting there! Within a minute they flew to the fence by the Nest Box and sure enough, there was a MALE! I’m sure he is not the same Male because he was wing waving at the Female. He was not participating in feeding, but was definitely showing interest in the box as he landed on the Spooker and then peaked in the box. The Female is definitely accepting Him so far as she hasn’t chased him off and is tolerant. I’m hoping he starts to help feed, although Momma is doing a great job with me supplementing her food. Thankfully it has been very dry and only rained once since the babies hatched and that was last night so it has not affected the supply of insects. The best case scenario is these babies fledge and are cared for by the new Male while the Female builds again. If I know her she will build again within 2-3 days! Being an EABL Landlord is never a dull moment and you learn something new about Bluebird behavior all the time. I find it fascinating!!
(On another note, I have found the Robin’s to be overly aggressive against the Blues this year. Something else I haven’t witnessed in my 8 years of Landlording!)June 27, 2022 at 9:10 pm #26654Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Rich, love your story – yes this is a very interesting & worthwhile hobby I have learned. I believe you have hit everything directly on the head. The robins we have do not seem to mind the bluebirds.June 27, 2022 at 9:58 pm #26655tamseaModerator
Keep a close eye on those babies. Did you check to make sure they are still doing well? They’re all still alive? I had a Coopers hawk kill my daddy blue one year and when a new male came along he woo’d her away from her babies. You can always take them to a rehabber if they aren’t being fed.
TammyJune 27, 2022 at 10:05 pm #26656Rich KParticipant
Momma is still actively feeding them and the new Male is behaving. I’m aware that sometimes the new Male will kill the babies. I’m hoping that is not the case.June 28, 2022 at 6:38 pm #26657tamseaModerator
I’ve never had them kill the babies, although I’m sure it’s possible but sometimes the drive to mate is so strong that the female doesn’t keep taking care of the nestlings or fledglings. Glad your female is doing good still far. Mine happened after they fledged. She abandoned them right after they fledged. I don’t think any of them made it. 😭
TammyJune 28, 2022 at 9:38 pm #26658SkyonitsbackParticipant
This is fascinating! I was reflecting how when our male bb lost his mate last year, he was in shock and the babies almost died, but this female is right in the saddle of what she needs to do. Isn’t that just like a woman?!! (He did come through in the end.)
Tamsea, I hope you’re wrong that none of your babies made it. Just because you didn’t see them doesn’t mean they didn’t make it. When mine fledged last year I was all high on the experience, got a fancy new mealworm feeder, got the box all ready for another nest, and they never returned! They just flew off and did their thing.
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