While out doing some normal birding in the South Kettle Moraine I came across an Eastern Bluebird nest in a natural cavity. They were feeding the young on a regular basis. I set for some shooting under a honeysuckle bush to capture some of the action. On one set of images a female comes out of the bluebird house with some new bugs that the male had just brought her, only to do a 360° turn right back into the house to feed the young.
Photographs were taken on May 30, 2013.
Binomial name: Sialia sialis
Description: Both male and female birds have blue plumage on top with rusty-colored throat and breast. However, the male enjoys a much brighter blue color compared to the female’s pale blue feathers. The female also has a gray head.
Size: 6.3″-8.3″ long, 9.8” – 13” wingspan
Weight: 1.0 oz. – 1.2 oz.
Habitat: Forests adjacent to meadows or with clearings and near lakes or rivers
Diet: Insects (grasshoppers, beetles, crickets), spiders, snails, and wild fruit and seeds
Nesting: Eastern Bluebirds seek out nesting areas abandoned by other birds such as woodpecker holes. The female will build the nest over the course of 1-2 weeks using feathers and plant materials. She will lay 3-7 eggs at a time, raising 2 broods over the course of a summer. Both parents will feed the young for 2-3 weeks before the fledglings leave the nest.
Notes: If you can offer a suitable habitat with trees and a water source, invite Eastern Bluebirds into your backyard with a nestbox. Click here for a blueprint and more information on this easy DIY project.
To see the full gallery of images, please click here.