Eastern Bluebird Feeding Nestling

By | June 26, 2019

I photographed this female Eastern Bluebird getting ready to feed one of her young at a nest box in my yard. I’m not sure what mom has in her beak. It looks like a large ant or a wasp without wings. I wasn’t fast enough to photograph Mom placing the meal in its mouth.

Eastern Bluebird Feeding Her Young
A female Eastern Bluebird feeding one of her young at the nest box.

I am photographing these Bluebirds with a long telephoto lens from inside my vehicle. You can see my setup here – My Eastern Bluebird Photography Setup

I will stop photographing these birds as soon as the young start peaking out of the nest box. I don’t want my activity to cause the young to fledge prematurely.

How I Got The Shot

I had my Fujifilm X-T3 with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro. I have the camera and lens resting on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second at f7.1 and the ISO at 1600. White Balance on auto.

Eastern Bluebird Nestling Facts

  • Total clutch size of 3 to 7 eggs. The Bluebirds I photographed above only had 2.
  • Chicks hatch after an incubation period of 11-19 days.
  • Around day 7 – 9 the female no longer broods, because the young can maintain their body temperature.
  • Eyes start to open on day 8 – 11.
  • The chicks will stay in the nest for 16-22 days after hatching.

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