Early morning feedings can be mass confusion at times. Especially when eastern bluebirds juveniles are cold and hungry.
Such was the case on this 49° F May morning with the air so much colder than the summer-like weather we had been having. The juveniles' feathers were fluffed up for warmth and when the male appeared with mealworms, three juveniles descended from overhead limbs, each vying for position--wings fluttering, eager cheeping, and even landing on top of a sibling if that's what it took to get near the food.
In this case, I think the closest mouth won the meal. Each of the above images includes three juveniles, though its not easy to sort them out, and eventually two fell off the perch during the scramble. You have to admire the steady perseverance of parents under these circumstances. The male fed his mealworms quickly, hopped clear, returned to the feeder, and came back with a fresh supply, feeding until calm was restored.
Though the female was near and even landed on the garden shepherd's perch near the feeder, she did not participate in the feeding on this occasion. A little later she flew into the nestbox. The male was quite interested in this and flew down to the nestbox guard to peek inside and see what was happening.
I was interested too, and later, after the family left to hunt elsewhere and the nestbox area was quiet, I checked to see if we had eggs. And yes, we have two eggs!
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Visit my previous post, Landlord or Local Diner? My yard and its nestboxes and mealworm feeder were part of the wintering territory of a small flock of bluebirds with one dominate male and female pair. However, the pair did not select one of my yard's nestboxes for their first nesting this season. I later realized that the red-shouldered hawk that had been seen perched in the yard on several occasions during early spring was the likely reason the pair chose a different nest site. Red-shouldered hawks have fledged their young by now and are wandering beyond their nesting territories. And, I am happy to have a nesting pair of bluebirds in my yard again!
To see my posts on last season's nesting bluebirds, visit: Bluebird Family