Monday, September 3, 2007

The Last Brood

Monday, September 3, 2007

Last week the final brood of eastern bluebirds of 2007 fledged from our front yard box. Four fledglings--two females and two males--left the box on their first flight sometime early on Thursday morning. That makes a total of 57 successful fledglings from our farm proper.

I will take little credit for this. Julie is the Bluebird Oracle and does all the box monitoring and note-keeping. I mow the trails, stain and repair the boxes, and assemble and plant new boxes as needed. I am the brawn, she is the brains.

Adult bluebirds look their most beautiful in Autumn, molting in a fresh set of feathers for the oncoming colder seasons, dropping the tattered duds of the breeding season. While there is a tinge of melancholy in the air at seeing the last brood go, signaling the end of another season, we have their amazing, sleek, makeover molt to which we can look forward.

On Friday morning we walked the kids out to meet the school bus at the end of the drive. Perched along the power line over our neighbor's pasture were 17 bluebirds of varying ages. That many bluebirds in one place is a good sign. And we were happy to have played a part in helping them reach such numbers.

Of course I am certain that, if they knew of our existence and of our role in the bluebirds' success, the grasshoppers, katydids, and grubs of our farm would blacken our names for this "plague" of expert predators we've unleashed.

That's Nature in a nutshell. One creature's success is another's demise.


On September 3, 2007 at 7:30 PM Anonymous said...

That bluebird shot is really nice. Must look amazing at full size. The background seems to swirl into a vortex of fall color.

On September 4, 2007 at 2:03 PM Mary said...

I'm glad you help Julie - I am overwhelmed just reading about her activities.

I wish you hundreds of bluebirds. The little one in the box is a great photo.

On September 4, 2007 at 3:07 PM Rondeau Ric said...

Have any sat on your shoulder?

On September 4, 2007 at 4:27 PM Jayne said...

Beautiful post and even more beautiful photo.

On September 5, 2007 at 12:19 PM Mary said...

what a stunning shot this is--love it--and am jealous of all your little bluebirds.