Friday, July 19, 2013

The Hot Days of Georgia Summer

This is a very busy season for the Bluebird Trail. With all the rain we have had in the past few weeks, the very HOT and humid summer makes for a lot of work for Bluebird parents to raise a family. With the heat outside at around 90 degrees, the temp in the Nest Boxes is well over 100 degrees.

The Nest Boxes are well vented for summer temp like we are having now. The material is a natural un-treated cedar, which also helps with keeping the temp stable. With that being said it is still HOT in the boxes.

We have had a very successful spring and summer so far, with very few mishaps and very few eggs that have not hatched. It is amazing to see how hard the Mom and Dad work to make the nest, the mom to lay her eggs, then sit on them 12 to14 days during this HOT summer weather. Then to feed each of the babies three times every hour for another 17 to 21 days while they are growing and getting strong enough to fledge the nest. Now you can see why we have bluebird feeders placed along the trail, so that food is near by for the parents to be able to feed the young.
We have a number of Nest Boxes that now have eggs for the third brood in the same Nest Box since we put up the boxes in Feb/March for the season. I think this is amazing, by simply providing a suitable nesting box location, we have increased the population of the Eastern Bluebird. Nest Boxes mimic the natural cavities and in some ways can be improvements upon them. They are usually better situated, have entrance holes that exclude certain other bird competitors, and they are generally drier and better ventilated.

During incubation the female sits almost constantly over the eggs, exposing them to the full warmth of her brood patch. She incubates the eggs for one continuous period during the night and during the day does shorter stretches, periodically leaving the nest to preen and feed. On hot days she may leave the eggs unattended for longer periods of time.