Without the need to protect their nesting territory for another nesting attempt, they had no reason to stay once the second brood juveniles fledged. This movement to different hunting grounds is an important survival behavior. The longer the bluebird family stayed in the nesting area, the more likely predators would detect the inexperienced fledglings.
I certainly don't need three feeders out this time of year, but I think of them as welcome flags, along with the flowers that are still blooming, advertising an oasis for thirsty, late travelers. Below, a female Rose-breasted grosbeak that visited my sunflower feeder a week ago. She is just passing through, on her way to the West Indies, Mexico or South America to spend her winter. Many migrants are passing through our yards this time of year, both seen and unseen.
Fall is a beautiful, exciting time of year!
Next post: Fall color and more fun around the bird bath.
Links and Resources:
Blog posts on the bluebird family that nested in my yard during the 2010 breeding season.
Visit these links to see juvenile bluebirds enjoying a bath and my experience with feeding mealworms.
Learn more about how bird banding helps us learn about hummingbirds.
Visit the Hummingbird Study Group to learn more about hummingbird species.
Contacts for reporting sightings of hummingbirds during winter months in the east: Bob and Martha Sargent, Rubythroat@aol.com or 205-681-2888
Posts about Ruby-throated hummingbirds on this blog.