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FROM READERS: Baby bluebirds leave an empty nest

Thursday, June 21, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
This is a photo of the last baby Bluebird to leave the nest in Missourian reader John Hall's backyard.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years. Hall was also recently featured in a Columbia Missourian article, in which he reminisced about his days as a bat boy in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri Baseball League.

This is Mr. Hall's sixth post describing the action of a Bluebird family in his backyard. You can find the first five here, here, herehere and here.

I think the bluebird saga has come to an end.  Early on the morning of the 19th a family photo was taken of the four children. Around 4:30 in the afternoon of the 19th of June I spied the first escapee from the nest.  Later in the afternoon and through the night and early morning hours of the 20th of June, this was the lone bird left in the nest.

(If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here.)

The rest of the photos, other than Mr. Bluebird, is the last bird in the nest attempting to figure out if he wanted to leave. From around 6:00  to 11:00 a.m. I had the camera trained on the bluebird home. My wife announced at that time that I'd have to give up watching the bluebird and take her out to lunch. I hurried to the sandwich and baked potato shop and gobbled my meal about like the little birds have done for three weeks and headed home. When I arrived in the backyard I didn't see the little one peering out of the portal. So, I opened the box and he was "Bye, Bye, Birdie."

A sense of relief came over me in knowing that my feeding task was completed. Then, I heard Mr. Bluebird and he flew over to where I was standing. He asked if I had more meal worms. I told him there were some in the refrigerator. He asked if I go get them and keep his bowl filled. He said that he was going to use that bowl as his base feeding station. I asked him where his offspring were and he told me just to watch the direction in which he flew. That became a bit puzzling after watching him for a few minutes since he went every direction except east. He didn't go that way, for my house would have prohibited any baby bird from flying in that direction.

So, the baby bluebirds are gone....or, are they?

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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