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.
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.
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.