I expected the eggs to hatch sometime during the two days I was away, and still my reaction was awe and surprise when I opened the box and found five tiny nestlings in the place of blue eggs. All of them were quietly sleeping with Papa bluebird watching over them from an oak limb while I checked the box.
I worried at first that they might discourage the bluebirds from nesting. But that has all been worked out to the benefit of both families. While the bluebirds keep some species away from the nest area, the phoebes challenge others. I've seen the male phoebe instantly launch from his guard perch to 'pounce' on a male downy that landed on one of the gazebo support posts.
Links and resources:
This is the second post in a series on this bluebird family. To see the first post visit: My Eastern Bluebird Neighbors. In Wishing Upon a Bluebird, an initial encounter between nest building phoebes and bluebirds is described at Vickie's Sketchbook.
For articles leading up to the story on this post, visit my Wild Birds Unlimited articles: Smitten with Bluebirds and April Celebrations. And to see last season's chickadee family, visit the Secretive Chickadee Family and A Happy Fledging Time of Year.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.