Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Latest Info Might Be A Little Hard To Swallow

I asked Farmer H to check on that bird's nest under the back deck. I was worried that something might have eaten the eggs. We have two remaining cats, you know. I'm pretty sure cats will eat birds and bird babies, but I don't know if they eat eggs.

Also, there's no shortage of snakes here in Hillmomba, and one could easily slither up the porch posts and across those boards. They're snakes, by cracky! They can go almost anywhere they choose.

I really wanted to know, short of actually walking around the house myself and up under the deck. The footing is rough. I didn't want to maim myself. That could cut into casino excursions. I asked Farmer H about the nest Tuesday night, but he wasn't going back outside. Wednesday morning I called him, but he was working over at back-creek neighbor Bev's house, on either a surveillance system or a new deck. Later in the afternoon, I sent him a text. And FINALLY, I got my update on the bird's nest.

In Farmer H's textwords: More eggs now

Huh! Don't that just beat all? There were THREE eggs when he sent the original photo on April 25th. And now there are FIVE! I guess somebody wasn't done laying!

Here's the thing. I THINK they are tree swallow eggs, going on their appearance, and that of the nest. I just assumed a little swallow was a brown, nondescript bird that I'd not notice as being out-of-the-ordinary. Yet when I looked up the tree swallow, IT WAS BLUE!

That's right! A tree swallow is a little blue bird with a white belly. Now, I see these little bluebirds all the time, while driving to and from town. In fact, years ago, when Genius was still forced to ride with me because he wasn't old enough for a driver's license, one flitted across the road in front of T-Hoe.

Let the record show that Mrs. HM does not have good luck with birds. She had a robin suicide itself on T-Hoe's front bumper one morning on the way to school. And then there was the unfortunate incident of stepping on a bird carcass under some dried autumn leaves in the teachers' parking lot at Lower Basementia years before that. More than 10 times. Much to the delight of both boys, and the shame of the custodial staff who didn't clean up the leaves (and bird carcass). At the end, the dried bones were hardly cracking any more.

Anyhoo...that one time wit Genius, I said, "Oh, no! I'm afraid I've just killed the Bluebird of Happiness!" Which was an actual fear. That can't be good luck. But Genius found it amusing, and texted it to one of his friends. "Hey! My mom just killed the Bluebird of Happiness." It was never proven.

So, even though I see those little bluebirds all the time, I always thought of them as just that: bluebirds. Like the Missouri state bird, the Eastern Bluebird. But a quick search on that revealed that an Eastern Bluebird has a brownish-orange belly like a robin. And the ones I've been seeing are blue with white bellies.

That's neither here nor there. Sometimes my digression can't be controlled.

Farmer H thinks these eggs belong to a sparrow, because one used to dive at his head every time he got the lawnmower out. But not this year. And sparrows have eggs that may be this light color, except sparrow eggs, no matter what color, have brown speckles on them. And these eggs do not.

The innernets tell me that a tree swallow egg takes 10-21 days to hatch, with 14-18 being the most common. However...incubation may be delayed up to two weeks if the weather is cold. Which it had been until last week, and even then, nights were down to 46 degrees.

Farmer H says that the eggs are new, and bigger than the old eggs. I disagree. They look the same to me, after I compared the pictures side by side. I think a couple more eggs got laid.

I'm going to hope that nothing disturbs the nest. I'll have Farmer H make intermittent checks on it so I can let inquiring minds know if we're having babies. Or not.

Here is a link that shows some nests and baby tree swallows.

And one with tree swallow information.


River said...

Thank you for the link, the nests with the feathers curved over the eggs for insulation were pretty to see. It's amazing what birds will do, mother nature creates marvellous beings doesn't she?
I do hope your eggs all hatch and the babies survive.
I think it's odd that bluebirds are actually brown, not blue.

Hillbilly Mom said...

You're welcome. I was researching anyway, so included the link. I feel like when we had chickens, and sent The Pony every day to see if the chicks had hatched yet.