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Our computer geek usually posts our pics on this blog….I got really brave and posted these “bluebird breakfast” pics myself.  You have to click on the pic to get to view the drama of each shot.  All this was happening just out our solarium window.  Way cool.

Waiting your turn in the bird world or the human isn’t something babies do well.

 



It has been a busy summer for us here @ the Oregon homestead and on the Lincoln Highway.  We invite you to visit www.lincolnhighwayride.com to see what we did and where we traveled on our journey as we traced Great Grandfather Townsend’s adventure of 1924.

Our last MSOBB post tells about our male western bluebird and his new lady and five eggs in the nest box.  Three of those eggs hatched and those three fledglings flew out of the next box this morning.  It’s always a time of high excitement w/lots of bird talk between parents and fledglings.  Micki is going to attach pics of our hatchlings @ 3 different stages of development

Things in the bird world are very busy.  The quail families all have their chicks out w/them.  They are fun to watch as they come up the driveway each evening.  The lazuli bunting fledglings are w/the parents and wanting help w/catching insects.  The speckled robin fledglings are as big as their parents, but still act like needy babies.   The red-tailed hawk parents are teaching their young ones to hunt (sometimes for quail).  The orioles spend their days in the willow tree rattling messages to their young ones.  The phoebe and western king birds are showing their babies how to snag an insect in mid-air.  All-in-all it’s quite a show.



We are having an exciting adventure this summer and next.  We are taking Great Grandfather Townsend on his last motorcycle ride.  As a new HighSchool graduate he rode the Lincoln Highway from California to New York, the on the Maine.  We are going on that same route.  Irv is on the motor cycle w/Dad’s ashes in a box on the back.  I am driving the SAG.  Google:  www.lincolnhighwayride.com and follow the fun.

Meanwhile back @ the homestead.  Earlier this spring we lost a nest box full of baby western bluebirds and two days later we found the female dead in the nest box.  Our male bluebird was sooooooooooooooo lonely.  He just sat in the top of the pine trees and looked sad.

He must have decided to do something about making up for his tragic loss, because when we arrived home after being on the road for 2 1/2 weeks we had our male AND he had a new lady!  Sweet!

AND they have a new nest with five blue eggs in the nest box.

Life is good!

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Yesterday we worked the bluebird trail @ the golf course in Baker Valley.  Much to our delight we discovered 3 working mountain bluebird nests.  Two had eggs in the nests and one had very young hatchlings.  Awesome!

Additionally, there were 7 active tree swallow nests,  some w/beautiful small white eggs, some with young hatchlings.

We had to clean out 2 English Sparrow nests.  One w/eggs and one w/hatchlings.

A barn swallow nest on the  north eave of the  ‘outhouse’.  Lots of young robins.  Many red wing blackbirds.

Wild golf ball hit me in the leg, but that’s another story.

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Yesterday morning our doe was up in the meadow south of the house.  She (we know she is ours because she has a black spot and a notch on her left ear) looked very pregnant (I know … pregnant is an absolute).

Last evening about 7:30, well before dark in the Pacific Northwest, we saw our doe and a young buck (her fawn from 2011) just above the fire line in the native brush.  As we watched out came two tiny, spotted fawns!  The buck wanted to sniff them, but the doe reared up on her hind legs and used her front hoofs the run him off.

This morning while I was riding my bike in the solarium, I looked southeast up the hill towards the stand of basin wild rye @ the corner of the upper meadow.  The doe was standing there looking towards the house.  Then out of the tall grass came one fawn to nurse.  After Mom & baby moved up the hill a bit the second fawn came bouncing out of the grass to join them.

In addition to the new fawns, this evening one of our ‘quail couples’ has a clutch of 10 fuzzy babies following them.  Little round balls of fluff w/legs. Love em!

It’s totally awesome what happens @ the Oregon Homestead.

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On May 30th we opened the Bluebird nest box to see if the bluebirds has started a new family.

What we found was the female bluebird dead on the nest!  How totally upsetting!

We examined her body and found no wounds or areas of bleeding.   Have NO idea what happened to her.

We cleaned out the box.  The male bluebird is sitting in the top of the ponderosa pine tree crying.

All of us here @ the homestead are totally sad.

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We checked the western bluebird nest box today.

It is empty……….Oh, dear!  What has happened to our babies?

Both parents are in the area being attentive to one another.  There is no sign of destruction of the nest in the box and we cannot find any dead hatchlings near the box.

It makes my heart hurt to have them gone.

All we can hope for now is that the parents will stay and start another family time will tell.

SIGH!!!

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When we arrived home from Montana yesterday we checked the western bluebirds’ nest box in the field north of the log house.

Much to our delight we have five fuzzy, very ugly hatchlings.  How does that go?  A face only a mother could love!

They are huddled together in the center of the nest.  You can count five little butts sticking out.

The adults sat on the split rail fence and watched while we checked the box.  There was one half of an egg shell on the ground by the box.

The hatchlings will remain in the box for 15-18 days.  So they should fledge June 4-7.  Just like it happens in our Magic Summer of Bluebirds book.



Great Gramma Nellis is the co-author and star of Magic Summer of Bluebirds.  She now makes her home in Montana.  We traveled across the Snake River out of Oregon.  Then east through central Idaho and north over the continental divide into Montana to see her.

What a pleasure to motor through the canyons created by the rushing South Fork of the Payette River to our campsite on Warm Springs Creek.  The white water was breath taking.

Next morning we passed 4 herds of elk and a high meadow (7000′) full of sandhill cranes.  But the best part was: after topping Banner Summit we got our 1st view of the Sawtooth Mountain Range and sitting in the top of a lodge-pole pine was a female mountain bluebird.  Sweet!

We had a delightful visit w/Gramma before we returned to Baker Valley.