Bird Feeders,  Bluebird Feeders,  Fruit, Jelly & Mealworm Feeders,  Mealworm Feeder,  Uncategorized

Keep that mealworm feeder filled

widowed mother bluebird at mealworm feederFor all the moms out there raising babies on their own… Happy Mothers Day!

A Gilbertson nest box was their preference, and soon 5 Bluebird eggs sat in the nest. A pair of Eastern Bluebirds who braved a harsh winter in North Georgia found their perfect nest site. It wasn’t long at all before the eggs hatched and five babies slept comfortably in the pine straw nest. I’m not sure when the eggs were laid, but the next time the box was checked it contained the cutest naked babies.

Then some trouble for our Bluebird pair 🙁 Nothing had gotten into the box or killed the babies, it’s dad who had disappeared. With babies fully feathered now and overflowing their nest, dad had been missing for two days, at this crucial fledge time too.

The next box check revealed that mom had managed to fledge all five babies, so this gave me hope for at least a partially successfully brood. I supplemented  the the worms with calcium carbonate powder to help build strong bones, and doubled the number of worms being offered in the mealworm feeder.

When raising bluebirds, both parents will feed the chicks for thirty days. Even second or third broods receive help from older siblings. Super mom was on her own, and the nasty storms during their first few nights out in the world didn’t help at all. I was like the worrisome mother. Sometimes another mate is found and the new male may or may not help to care for her brood. About two weeks after fledging, a new male was spotted gorging himself at the mealworm feeder. My only hope was that some of the worms were for the babies.

Two days ago I spotted one of the babies perched on the pole above the mealworm feeder… yellow mouth wide open and screaming his little head off! It was truly a terrific site and gave me hope that more of the five are thriving.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day… here’s to you Mrs. Bluebird! Raising babies on your own out in a tough and cold world, we wish you the best.


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