Monarch caterpillar found on road pupated the next day, hatched September 15.
In the 3rd shot (4202) you can see the chrysalis starting to open. This was an automated photo (the camera had been clicking away every ten minutes all night).
Regret I wasn't there (or snapping at a shorter interval) at the moment when it popped out, but I caught it a few minutes later (4204). We took it outside in the early afternoon and it spent further time acclimating after a short flight to a tree.
Having just raised four kids, maybe Ma said that's too much work and drew the line at three.
That said, a little story from yesterday. I was reflecting upon how I see Mrs. Bluebird still feeding the kids, but not Mr. Bluebird. Meanwhile, his/our enemy, Mr. House Sparrow, is seen taking food to hisyoung'uns. Hmm.
Then something happened that really surprised me. A bluebird kid had landed on the tray and picked up a dried worm that it was just holding.
Along comes Pa and what does he do? He snatches it from Junior's grasp and eats it! I could hardly believe what I'd just seen.
Flash back to last time we had a (BB) family and I believe I do recall seeing some less-than-friendly behaviour by (perhaps the same?) father then.
On reflection, I think they're not-so-subtle hints to Junior that the blissful childhood is over and it's time to go and find his own little slice of heaven.
Ma and Pa are now focusing on a new family.
Come on baby, let's do the twist.
June 5: one of the kids after a bath. At one point there were 5 eggs, but somebody somehow destroyed one. I found it on the ground. House Wren perhaps, what I'm thinking.
(But this one is alive and kicking)
June 12: The first of the second four arrives.
June 14: Three out. Videos on YouTube: Shaky and poorly focused but a bit more animated than the next one.
June 17: Four kids are starting to get fuzzy. We didn't see any open eyes yet but they were resting.
June 22: Eyes open. This one responded to the camera flash.
Incidentally, this Bluebird family are lodged in a PVC house I made from the Gilbertson plan. You can get a PDF of the design here, or read about and/or buy pre-made here. I am having less House Sparrow trouble this year with this design and am very enthusiastic about it. The ability to remove it for photography is obviously a huge plus. The only modification I made was with a hacksaw, cutting some shallow footholds to help them cling to the outside.
June 27: Can't be long now.
June 30: Himself. Frames from wide-angle video.
Update on the kids: they're still home. I assume all four are in there but I'm not going to open it up to count for fear of causing premature flight.
There is a little something I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't mention: the matter of poop removal. Hope it doesn't gross you out but it's rather fascinating. The kid will rotate and expel a fecal sac which the parent will then take away. How does the kid know to do that? In a video I shot today, Ma shows up with a worm, the kid does the about-face, Ma expects the sac but still has the worm so she swallows it... then the kid doesn't deliver! Win some lose some.
April 24: Evidence says kids plural (frequency of trash removal).
We dared guess as high as three.
April 30. Four little heads!
May 8: Hard to see the fourth, look for the eye above the center.
My guess is this is shortly before they fledged. The next time I checked they were gone, but I was encouraged to see no sign of foul play.
Fast-forward a week and I started to see Ma collecting as many worms as possible then, beak full, heading north over the field. Working theory: she's got 'em parked somewhere safe and is delivering bulk food. I guess the growing kids wouldn't all fit back in that little 4" tube. Like trying to put toothpaste back?
A few days ago I had my first sighting of the youngsters, presumably brought back to the old 'hood for the free food, but they stayed high in the trees.
May 15: Single egg. It was blue, hard to see in this bright light. I checked a few days later and it was gone. Maybe the House Wren stole it, I don't know but Ma and Pa seemed to be to busy to spend much time guarding it.
May 22: we are finally treated to some parental attentiveness.
It appears to be time to start over. Yay!
Another shot of junior. Perhaps soon we'll see more of the siblings.
I'm sure they prefer the live mealworms but will take the dry ones too. In another attempt to stretch my feed dollar I've started to raise mealworms.
Evening update (May 22): one kid seen in the worm tray. Shortly after that, these two on nearby tree. May 26: Certainly by now we are seeing 3 kids.
Here's Ma feeding one of them.
May 28: First time for sure I saw all four kids (since in nest). One flew before I could prove it.
This is a combined photo of Mrs. and Mr. Bluebird. It's not that they weren't both there at the same time, I just couldn't focus on both at once.
It was another 6-sparrow-sighting day. That started last weekend when the Chipping sparrow arrived. I expect the Tree sparrow to leave anytime, but they're still here. I assume they head north but don't know. I don't have decent photographs of all 6, some (like the Fox who I rarely see anyway) stay on the ground below the feeder, a difficult angle. The others are House, Song, and White-throated. I could almost claim 7 sparrows as I know the Field sparrow is back in town by his song.
FoxSparrow, April 15 This one was scavenging quite close to me for a while, I heard the leaves being tossed around before seeing it. A couple of chipmunks ran near and I thought he/she was scared away, but no, still there. Not too bothered by me either.
American TreeSparrow, March 27 As of April 15 weekend I'm not seeing them.
Junco will probably be gone soon.
Blue Jay, a year-round resident.
White-throated Sparrow, winter. Still here Apr 17.
Song Sparrow, year-round.
Mr. Bluebirdpresents a worm. I doubt they have young'uns yet, practicing perhaps? Better quality below (not animated).