BLUEBIRD NESTING GUIDE
· Female starts building nest first part of April.
· Usually builds nest in 3-4 days (may take as long as 12 days at times).
· One egg laid per day after nest complete (5 eggs first clutch usually).
· Female begins to brood eggs when all are laid – count this as first day of brooding.
· Female broods eggs for 12-14 days. Babies hatch all on same day.
· Babies fledge after 18 to 21 days (do not open box after 12th day of hatching).
· Male feeds fledglings for next two to three weeks.
· Female builds second nest about 5 days after first brood has fledged.
· Egg laying, brooding, and fledging follows as above.
· First group of fledglings may help feed second brood.
· May occur if there is adequate food and time.
1st Egg Laid DAY 1
2nd Egg Laid DAY 2
3rd Egg Laid DAY 3
4th Egg Laid DAY 4
5th Egg Laid DAY 5
1st Day of Brooding DAY 6 Female may not leave nest during cold or rainy days
2nd Day of Brooding DAY 7
3rd Day of Brooding DAY 8
4th Day of Brooding DAY 9
5th Day of Brooding DAY 10
6th Day of Brooding DAY 11
7th Day of Brooding DAY 12
8th Day of Brooding DAY 13
9th Day of Brooding DAY 14
10th Day of Brooding DAY 15
11th Day of Brooding DAY 16
12th Day of Brooding DAY 17
13th Day of Brooding DAY 18
14th Day of Brooding DAY 19
Babies hatch between 12th & 14th day of brooding – Start count all over again after hatching
1st Day After Hatching DAY 1 Sparse black down mostly on head and spine, eyes closed
2nd Day After Hatching DAY 2 Weight double from first day – eyes closed
3rd Day After Hatching DAY 3
4th Day After Hatching DAY 4 Feathers develop under skin – dark areas along wings
5th Day After Hatching DAY 5 Feathers begin to break through skin on wings and head
6th Day After Hatching DAY 6
7th Day After Hatching DAY 7 Feathers start to open out of their sheaths. Eyes open as slits
8th Day After Hatching DAY 8 Eyes open all the way. Feathers continue to unsheathe
9th Day After Hatching DAY 9
10th Day After Hatching DAY 10
11th Day After Hatching DAY 11
12th Day After Hatching DAY 12 Birds are physically active, white eye ring around the eye
13th Day After Hatching DAY 13 DO NOT OPEN BOX THIS DAY FORWARD
Opening box at this stage may cause babies to fledge too early.
14th Day After Hatching DAY 14 Adult may feed young from outside of box this point forward
15th Day After Hatching DAY 15
16th Day After Hatching DAY 16
17th Day After Hatching DAY 17
18th Day After Hatching DAY 18 Babies fledge sometime after this day
Do not open the nest box until 22 days after hatching, unless
you are positive there is no continuing feeding activity.