A delightful experience this evening watching one of the spring fledglings learn to feed his younger siblings. First he waited with a worm on the fence while Papa fed the nestlings. Then up to the door he went, blocking Papa’s exit! And finally he had a successful turn. I took photos of the action. So fun!
This isn’t the first year I have seen this, but I have never seen this amount of interest and active participation. From what I have observed when just mama and papa feed mealworms to the nestlings, they take turns. I have watched when one is flying to the box while they other flies away. Or If one is already in the box, the other may wait on the fence for his/her turn.
But not so the fledglings! One of the later times it was like a traffic jam and potential for colliding into each other.
Maybe the bluebird pair we have this year is a little less territorial than the average bluebird pair and welcomes the help. It was also the first year I have ever seen an “uncle” (extra male bluebird) help with both the spring & summer nestlings. I am pretty sure it was him with three fledglings that paid a visit last evening. My observation says he is not as brightly colored as the papa and also smaller.
One thing I enjoy about the bluebirds is that no year is like another. There is always something new to observe and learn.
Until my nestlings were banded this year I didn’t know that the legs of 10 day old nestlings were bigger around than a mature bluebird. I guess they lose their baby fat. Lisa, I wonder if your babies have extra fat or just fat feathers.