Monday, January 14, 2013

2012 ~ A Great Year for Bird Babies

The year 2012 was quite busy for us mainly due to the building of our dream home. Finding time to photograph wildlife seemed to take a backseat to more pressing matters. When able to venture out to our country property, I enjoyed watching many birds build nests, and tend to their eggs, nestlings and fledglings.

Though many of the images are of poor quality, I hope you still enjoy the post.

Male Eastern Bluebird

At the beginning of spring, we were thrilled to see that a familiar pair of Eastern Bluebirds set up home in the same nest box they did last year. The beautiful couple were successful with the first brood of five ...

Baby Eastern Bluebird

... then, the second crew of five ...

A demanding baby Eastern Bluebird begs for a tasty wax worm

... and a third group of four!

Three baby Eastern Bluebirds enjoy time spent at the birdbath


Our resident Eastern Phoebe pair spent time nesting as well. This rather tame couple decided to build a nest  inside the garage of our house (currently in the process of being built). They did not seem to mind the daily din of construction noise and workmen milling about.

A very attentive Eastern Phoebe parent sees to the nestlings

The Eastern Phoebe youngsters grew up quickly. Soon it appeared that they were too big for the nest!

Five Eastern Phoebe youngsters nestled together on a ledge (6/14/12)

I guess it was hard to resist that cozy nest made up of dried grasses, moss and fur from Honey and Bear, our two young Akita/Husky/Shepherd mixes.

A day later (6/15/12)

After the brood of five fledged, Bruce noticed the adult female phoebe sitting on the nest again. To our delight, five eggs were laid and another group of phoebes were born. Meanwhile, the first crew of juvenile phoebes were  often seen hunting for food in the surrounding forest.

Juvenile phoebe perched on the scaffolding with quite a catch

Juvenile phoebe preening


Many House Wrens inhabit our country property too. Two of the seven bluebird nest boxes were occupied by House Wren couples. I never did peek inside the bird houses but I know the wren parents were extremely busy tending to the boisterous, hungry youngsters.

An active House Wren in the process of building a nest

The House Wren parents were especially attentive to their nestlings, feeding them continuously all day long.

Plump insects for the babies


And then there were the hummingbirds! These diminutive, zippy birds were plentiful in 2012. I usually hang  fifteen hummingbird feeders out on our property during the spring, summer and fall months. We have so many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds pining for sugary licks of nectar that is is impossible for us to count all of them.

Female and male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

After the babies are born and leave their nests, there is pandemonium at the feeders. Young hummingbirds can be spotted everywhere zooming from one feeding station to another.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This rather disheveled young male guarded his feeder valiantly. Note the existing pin feathers on his face.


One of the highlights of 2012 was finding a hummingbird nest outside of the garage at our home in Chicago. I followed the flight of an adult female hummingbird after she finished lapping from one of the feeders. She flew to a nearby magnolia tree and seemed to be poking around on a branch for several minutes. I brought out the binoculars to get a closer look and saw a little beak pointing upward from a small nest. 

Baby Ruby-throated Hummingbird in nest (a.k.a. Maggie)



Isidro Ortiz said...

Bonitas capturas.Saludos

eileeninmd said...

Lovely post, my favorites are the pretty bluebirds!

nic.b van es said...

Prachtige beelden van de jonge vogeltjes een vruchtbare omgeving waar jullie wonen,dat belooft wat.

PoetessWug said...

What gorgeous usual of course! :-] My favorite of this grouping is the male eastern bluebird. Oh! So pretty!!!...Thanks for sharing them with us. And are we gonna get any photos of your gorgeous dream home?!!

Joop Zand said...

Wonderful pictures Julie..... compliments.

greetings, Joop

Guy said...

Hi Julie

What wonderful photos. How nice you were able to see the hummingbird nest. It was great to see your Phoebe had two clutches and you had so many Bluebirds, wow.

All the best in the new year.

Kerri said...

JOY is right! and a great way to describe every visit to your blog :)
LOVE these pics!!

TexWisGirl said...

these were wonderful! loved the bluebirds raising 3 successful broods!!! and the phoebe babies are so dang cute! glad they made good use of your construction zone!

i really want to say thanks for continuing to visit my blog, even as you haven't posted on your own. i know your life is busy, and i so appreciate you!

thank you for sharing these sweeties with us!

CabinGirl said...

I love the image of the young phoebes all piled up together, Julie! It's fun to see all the baby birds you enjoyed last year. (and congrats on building your dream home!)

Terry said...

How delightful, and the photos were great. Hope you are now settled in the new home.

Larry Ostby said...

Love your post Julie. The Bluebird series is great. Always love the hummers. Congrats on finding that nest with an occupant. As always, all your photos are fabulous. Thanks.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wonderful series of pictures. This makes me wait for spring and the arrival of these birds.

Maria said...

Wonderful juveniles and chicks in different settings!

Beverly said...

Wonderful post, Julie!

MoiCLouLou said...

How beautiful Julie! I loved every one of them. Baby birds are so cute, and when you can find a nest... well, your last word says it all!

Great series, really stunning.
Thanks for sharing these and have a great week!


PhotoLeoGrapher said...

Hello Julie!

Nice series! Good work! Beautiful blog! Congrats!

All the best in the new year!

Bob Bushell said...

The first one (Eastern Bluebird) is fantastic, yet, all of them are brilliant.

JOTA ENE ✔ said...

Nice moments...
Beautiful pictures ..

Scott (@NESASK) said...

Terrific post, Julie.

John's Island said...

Hi Julie, What a wonderful post! I sure do not know what you mean by low quality pictures ... :-) ... they all look great to me! It is amazing that you had the time to get out and capture all these scenes as I know these are not just photos to be caught on a moment's notice. These take time and you were having a new home built. I love the photos and commentary on the bluebirds, and especially on the hummingbird at the end. What a great photo of the little bird on the nest. As always, thanks for sharing, and thanks for your kind comments on my blog as well. Have a wonderful day! John

Tinie said...

Wonderful series you have here, what a beautiful birds you had for the lens.

Groetjes Tinie

Kungsfiskaren said...

Lovely bird serie
Greetings from Sweden

cindyzlogic said...

Such beautiful captures, Julie!! SO exciting to find a Hummingbird nest!!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These are all absolutely wonderful. How blessed to have been able to view and photographs these little yard friends! Hoping you are enjoying your dream home~

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These are all absolutely wonderful. How blessed to have been able to view and photographs these little yard friends! Hoping you are enjoying your dream home~

Peaches Ledwidge said...

You should win an award, Julie.

Mia McPherson said...

I loved seeing these images, what beautiful little birds!

Bets said...

Hello Julie
What a beautiful pictures.
In our country is it too cold for babybird. -10.
Greetings Bets

dAwN said...

Wonderful photos Julie! How is your dream home coming?

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

Holy bird utopia! And again, Julie, your photos are breathtaking. Our Say's phoebes often have multiple broods as well, here in the desert (and they, too, seem to be quick growers)! Thanks for sharing!

Tammy said...

Delightful post, Julie! Your photos so wonderfully capture so many little beauties! I love the 2 Hummers at the feeder; that is quite a catch! And the Hummer on the nest; so cool! I also would like to thank you for your warm, kind comments on my posts! Take care.

Marco Alpha said...

Hey Julie,
What a nice shots!! So sweet to see the little young birds.
Your first two shots of the eastern bluebird are so great.
The shot with the both Hummingbirds is very, very funny. Nice to see how they are ready for dinner,..a great moment!!

Many greetings from the Netherlands,

Lorents H Blomseth said...

Beautiful colours in the frist bluebird picture, skarp and clear, well done

Noushka said...

Julie, your latest posts are fantastic!
I love the Pelican preening, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird flying, well each and every photo is a delight!
There seems to be such variety where your live and you really know how to reveal it!

forgetmenot said...

Poor quality?????? I'm betting everyone that looks at your "poor quality" shots would love to be able to take photos just like them. They are, once again, amazing. I feel like I'm right there looking at them with you. Wonderful selection of cute little birds being "good Mamas and Papas. Such fun to watch the little ones grow and eventually take flight. Hope your house is coming along well--such a challenge at times, but such an accomplishment when it is completed. Mickie :)

Red Rose Alley said...

You always get the best images of birds, Julie. Oh, how I wish I could get one of the hummingbird, as she is my beloved bird. They fly away too quickly. Maybe I will try the feeder, and that way, they will stick around awhile longer. Your bird photos are just beautiful.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

JRandSue said...

What a fantastic sight,all new life,hope they all made it into 2013,amazing images.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Wow what a great post! Loved them all!

Rohrerbot said...

Really fun pics of the birds here. I especially love the Eastern Phoebe with her kids:) Love all of your shots. Birds are so cool and so different!

Cristina C said...

Interesting blog... very nice pictures. Welcome to
:) Wish you a happy new year!

Debbie said...

you bring joy to all of us here and i SO enjoy my visits to your wonderfeul blog!!

i hope some day you make a book, with all these wonderful images! it would be a shame to not display them for all for family and friends to see!!

Rebecca said...

I thought the photos were wonderful! Loved the preening shot and wrens are always my favorite:)

ShySongbird said...

Wonderful photos Julie, really beautiful. The Bluebird is so pretty but then all of them are. I love the wren with the large insect....and as for the Hummingbirds!!!....why, oh why don't we have them here, my very favourite 'foreign' bird...indescribably beautiful.

Belated but sincere good wishes for 2013!

RVDaalen said...

Àmazing bird pics....wonderful to watch!!!




Louisette said...

Beautifull picture, now we are going to spring a nice regard from Belgium, enjoyed to visit your blog

Manuel Luis said...

Fotografar é cuidar daquilo que é de todos. Eles encontram lugares fantásticos para criar, alimentar e viver. Fazes-me sentir essa felicidade.

stardust said...

Hello, Julie! Fabulous shots as always! While I was taking care of my granddaughter, I seem to have missed this terrific lovely post. All the bird babies are so cute and you captured the special moment of each of them. The Ruby-throated hummingbird looks wearing flower-shaped necklace.


Weekend Cowgirl said...

Simply GRAND photos... enjoyed every single one.

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

How beautiful Julie, lovely photos and post. Lots of happy nests near you. All the photos are wonderful as usual, I especially enjoyed the young phobe .. that's a mouthful. The hummingbird pair on the dewy feeder is breathtaking. Wonderful post!

Annula Fotografie said...

Hi Julie, I've discovered your blog and I enjoyed it!
Wauwwwwwww that's beautiful!!
regards, Annie

Annula Fotografie said...

Hi Julie, thanks for your comment on my blog!
I see that there are already many, many people have found your blog and like it!
I hear great but many reactions I never!
Regards, Annie,

Julie Brown said...

Great shots Julie. I love seeing baby birds and juvies.

Gunnar Hustad said...

Beautiful pictures!

Grandma Becky said...

loved the phoebe family and other ones...adorable and enjoyed the photography as well.