I photographed this Eastern Bluebird nestling on June 26th. I started photographing them on the 21st and I skipped the 25th so I photographed them for 4 days for an hour or two in the mornings. I stop when the nestlings start looking out of the nest box like this one is in my photo. I was using my pickup as a blind and I don’t think I was disturbing the birds but I don’t like taking chances with these young birds fledgling early because of something I did. I can see in this photo that this young Bluebird is about ready to fledge.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that fledge is when a young bird acquires the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity also: to leave the nest after acquiring such feathers.
A fledgling is a bird that is out of the nest but still dependent on its parents for food and care. Once the fledgling bluebird can gather food on their own, they are termed juvenile birds. Here is a great article to read: Fledging the Nestbox
You can read about my setup for photographing these birds in my yard here: My Eastern Bluebird Photography Setup
Because of the precaution I take in photographing these birds, I have never seen young Bluebirds actually leaving the nest box. Over the years I have discovered Eastern Bluebird Fledglings in my yard after they have left the nest.
How I Got The Shot
I have 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 1/350 of a second at f7.1 and the ISO at 2500. I also had a -0.3 exposure value. White Balance on auto.