Inktober catch-ups: Day 25-27

25: Tired
Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor). While at sea, they may sleep with half their brains for 6 seconds at a time, constantly in a state of tiredness. On land, they sleep for 12 hours.

26: Box
Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis). A baby bluebird peers out of its nest box.

27: Creepy
Common Nighthawk
(Chordeiles minor). I don’t understand the bristles. Or the infinitely gaping mouth. It’s very unsettling.


Ontogenic sequence of eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis, from hatching to fledging. These beautiful songbirds nest in my yard every spring, and this year I wanted to record the process by taking a photograph every day as they grew. Bluebirds are very tolerant of humans, but even so I was careful to not disturb them, and since we have a slotted box (rather than a circular opening box), it was easy to slip my phone in and check up on them unobtrusively. 

It is truly fascinating to watch, on a daily basis, the ability of nature to convert insects and worms so elegantly into feathers, bone and flesh.

June 1, 2014 - Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Requested by: pagesofkenna

Found across the eastern half of the United States and in parts of Mexico, the Eastern Bluebird is a small member of the thrush family. They eat fruits and insects, dropping down on their prey from low branches. Females build nests in tree cavities or nest boxes, sometimes building at multiple sites, but only using one. Eastern Bluebird populations have been rising in the past four decades, after introduced species such as House Sparrows and European Starlings outcompeted them for nesting sites in the early twentieth century. Nest boxes have been an important part of this recovery. They are the state bird of New York and Missouri.

Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis

While my great grandparent’s estate sits in limbo, I help with the upkeep on the property. Lucky for me they had bluebird boxes so the bluebirds usually nest there. I stuck my phone in the boxes to determine if they were in use and only the one is and of course it’s the old box that was never painted and is literally falling over. Mama bluebird wasn’t thrilled with my presence but I got plenty of photos of her. I’m anxious to check back in on her next week.