Nesting Asilomar Birds

I am so lucky that I get to witness these astonishing bird interactions and activities just in passing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to monitor these birds all day long. The drama! I love Violet-green Swallows as they are very beautiful and graceful in the air but also tenacious at the nest: moms don’t leave if the box gets opened, they are scrappy when fighting with the Western Bluebirds for a home, the juveniles return to the boxes when they’re bored of foraging on their own. Just immense personality. And really understudied compared to the Tree Swallows, which have a wider range. I’d like to conduct more research on the VGSW and figure out why they have years of total nest failure and other years are successful. Someday, when I have more time. There are other images of some of my favorite park residents, which include the Western Bluebirds, Pygmy Nuthatches, and Northern Flickers. All are amazing individuals who I love.

Juveniles

I monitor some nests and enjoy taking photos of the juveniles as they make their way out into the world.

Breeding photos

Apart from the Black Crown Night Heron nest on a rock just off shore, these are nest box pictures of four cavity nesting species.

Western Bluebirds in kayak helmet

First bluebirds arrive

I have seven feeders up including three suet filled ones. This is my first bluebird feeder sighting I have ever had. Just moved to a new location in Sisters with trees and an open area that the bluebirds like. I am a wildlife photographer and this has been a enjoyable time for me during the COVID-19 pandemic…just to have the comfort of being around the birds.

Western Bluebird chicks

Western bluebirds nesting in our nest box

Baby Bluebirds

Western BlueBirds, Turnbull NWR

We went birding at Turnbull NWR on May 11th and spotted 26 species of birds and one porcupine, one coyote .

Western Bluebird Chicks

Our First Bluebird Egg

Western Bluebird

Four of the five bluebird eggs have hatched this morning in the bird box outside!

Babies

Dolly Madison and George Washingtons Bluebird Nest

They are building away, cant wait for the eggs. Hopefully this week

Five pretty blue eggs

Five bluebird eggs photographed while parents are out. Male bird seemed protective and his flapping wings made a clicking sound to warn me to get away.

First bluebird ever!

Before the pair has begun incubating the eggs. He sits outside the box on his favorite branch talking to me! I can even wash outside on my balcony and he doesn’t fly away!

Mixed species nest example

A nest box had been occupied first by a Western Bluebird pair and actually had the first confirmed eggs of the 2018 season. The first clutch had 5 eggs but only 3 WEBL chicks successfully fledged from the box as of June 3. When the box was checked one week later (June 10), a new nest was observed with one bluebird egg, one swallow egg and one additional swallow egg was on the ground along with an adult Tree Swallow seen in the area. Another bluebird egg was laid the next day but adult bluebirds were not seen near the box again. The nest remained as a Tree Swallow nest that fledged 3 chicks but the bluebird eggs never hatched.

First Flight

This baby western bluebird just flew for the first time.

Bluebird family

Returning bluebird pair had 5 healthy eggs that have hatched. This pair had 3 nests last year and only 2 babies fledged.

A couple of nest mysteries

You can ignore the first mystery, it was a dead hummer at my feeder then after that I had a couple of nest mysteries, the still shots show what I was up against. First, a Black-capped Chickadee nest…and only one ‘hatchling’ with some four or five other eggs that never hatched. Second, a Western Bluebird nest that after the season was over I found a dead what I think was a female Violet-green Swallow in, underneath- and a couple of Bluebird eggs that never hatched. Two nest oddities.

Helpful older sibling

This juvenile was feeding its younger siblings! With a bug in its beak, it made several attempts at getting into the box (it seemed to have difficulty keeping its grip on the wood below the hole), while the three-day-old nestlings squeaked plaintively within. At last it got in, and emerged a moment later empty-beaked.

Western Bluebird Nest

Its hard to get a decent photograph of the inside of a cavity nest, especially when its above my head level!

New guests in rear yard

Papa Blue at Work

Western Bluebird Nest

Six eggs lain; first two hatched.

More Bluebirds in 2010 and 2011

The bluebirds came back in 2010 and made another nest in the same birdhouse. If I hadn’t seen the parents, I wouldn’t have know they were bluebirds. I have a picture of them in 2011.

Bluebirds Nesting on Our Patio

This was the first time we had put out any birdhouses in 2009. I bought a cute birdhouse and hoped someone would make a nest. I had been putting out mill worms for the birds to feed on. The bluebirds came by a lot, and finally they made their first nest.

New Life

My bluebirds

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology