Baby Bluebirds – Learning To Eat

Baby Bluebirds NestingIn a previous post, I spied on a nest of baby bluebirds in our courtyard. That shot was taken with my G11(new model). I just opened the house when the parents were not around so I wouldn’t get dive bombed.

That initial brood of the season did not survive unfortunately. They were killed as they fledged by the neighborhood bullies, our local flock of crows.  But, three chicks made it out of the next batch of five.

We have been feeding the fledglings live meal worms fairly regularly(Thanks to Kyle and Joe at our local Wild Birds Unlimited). They actually expect their daily meal around 5:00 p.m. every day. When my wife(Susan) goes to put the worms out, there they are, patiently waiting on the roof line of the house next door, or on our chimney.

The Meal(worms)

I positioned my GoPro on the split rail fence as close as I could get to the feeder. The camera is set up to take a photo every 2 seconds. So, after each session I have quite a few frames to sort through, looking for the keepers. One thing I learned was that the closest focus for my GoPro HD HERO2 is 12 inches. Unfortunately the closest bird in some of the shots is definitely out of focus. Even with the focus issues, I still like the results. I’ll just have  to remember this when composing the shot next time.

Recently I purchased the GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit, which I’m hoping will make this kind of shoot much easier. This will allow me to trigger the camera remotely whenever the birds are in the shot. In this case I had over 1000 frames to sort through. I edited it down to 200-300 frames with actual birds in them. The final edit was about 10 keepers.

Worms To-Go

For the first couple of weeks after leaving the nest, the parents would stuff their beaks with worms and carry them into the trees where the fledglings were hiding out. Eventually the father was able to coax them over to the feeder. He still had to feed them. At the time of this shoot, they were still not getting the idea. they would actually stand on top of the worms, with their mouth open, waiting for the father to come feed them. But, eventually they got the idea and have been able to feed themselves.

The following shots show some of the “learning” process these babies went through:

This final shot was processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5Camera Raw, using some presets that are part of PhotoTools Professional Edition from onOne Software.

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One thought on “Baby Bluebirds – Learning To Eat

  1. Hello,
    You have taken some beautiful pictures. I have gotten into watching bluebirds this year. I have 4 nesting boxes that have already had one brood and a couple more that are on their second.

    I am learning how to take pictures but I think I need to make an investment in better camera and lenses.

    Nice pictures!


    It’s Bluebird Nesting Time Again

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