The wildlife portion of my job became hands-on yesterday when we received 5 bluebird eggs that were just in the process of hatching (we do not incubate eggs). Three hatched prior to our Noon staff meeting and we knew we needed to find a wild foster parent for them. As insectivores, bluebirds are incredibly difficult to raise in our Avian Nursery – they eat as many as 1,000 bugs a day!
In the past, we’ve successfully fostered them out on monitored bluebird trails, so as soon as the staff meeting ended, I was on the phone to see who had newly hatched bluebirds.
After locating a gentleman in Northfield, I headed out the door with four newly hatched bluebirds (the 5th egg was still intact). As I pulled the box from the trunk of my car, the 5th egg began hatching. I captured a short video of it:
And it never did clear that last bit of egg from its head. I removed it before placing it in the foster nestbox.
Since we don’t want to overwork the parent bluebirds, we divided the nestlings into 3 different boxes, all on a trail monitored by a recent college grad for a Carleton biology professor. They’re in good hands and back in the wild. Many thanks to everyone in Rice County for their help, especially John and Simeon!
Hope you enjoy the video and photos…
2 of the tiny nestlings:
Simeon placing nestlings in one box:
Simeon and John at second nestbox: