The Blue Family – Part 2 – Food supply

Follow all of the Blue’s Family activities

Hunting and gathering

A Bluebird diet consists primarily of insects with the occasional seeds and berries thrown in. We were (unsurprisingly) fresh out of stored insects, so as a treat to our residents we quickly put together a bird feeder consisting of crushed up sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and craisins stuck to a pinecone with peanut butter. It doesn’t look like the birds are too interested in our feeder (maybe it will attract the squirrels).

Bird feeder - 5-10-20
Bird feeder constructed in about 5 minutes with a pine cone, peanut butter, and most of the ingredients of a trail mix packet

The birds have plenty to eat without our help though, as they are regularly leaving the nest every 5-10 minutes to fetch more abundant larvae for themselves and the fledglings. That’s a word I had to re-learn: fledgling. I was calling the baby birds chicks until I decided to Google the correct term.

I was able to get decent footage of each parent visiting the birdhouse. They are, understandibly, cautious when I set up the cameras nearby. I gave them as much space as I could.

Parental instincts

Usually if any human is nearby, Mama Blue will promptly leave the birdhouse and seek higher ground (or branches). While I was setting up my camera this morning, Mama heard me and departed the house as she usually does. However before flying up to a higher branch, she hovered about 10 feet from me to check me out. Ah of course I hadn’t started recording, it would have easily been the best shot of the day. I was unaware of how easily a bluebird can hover in place. It was like a hummingbird, but with just a few wing-flaps per second.

After Mama decided that I wasn’t worth her time, she headed out in search of more food (as she returned minutes later with a worm or caterpillar of some sort). A feeling of helplessness came over me during my encounter with Mama. Despite the average bluebird only weighing 1 ounce, I don’t think Mama would have hesitated to attack me if I had made the wrong move. That would have been an embarrassing injury to explain.

[Better] pictures of the day

That’s all for today. Check back soon as I plan to make this a semi-daily routine.


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