A few days ago Mandi pointed out a bird that she did not recognize. It was on top of the umbrella on our back porch, no more than 6 feet from the window where she stood. I came over to look and was delighted to find a juvenile Eastern Bluebird staring out into the yard. At first glance it appeared to be a female, judging by the relative lack of blue flight feathers. Before I could retrieve my camera she flew away, but I held out hope that she would return.
Well, yesterday was the day for the return. In addition to the pair of adults that recently raised a brood in my nestbox, a total of 3 juveniles were in the area at the same time. The brood had a total of 4 birds fledge, but only 3 were in attendance during yesterday's reunion. They spent some time on the fence, sat on the neighbor's gutters, and even pecked around a little in my sad excuse for a lawn.
I was happy to see the adults investigating the nestbox too, as I think there's still time for them to hatch another brood this season. They've investigated 3 or 4 days now, but still there's no nesting material in the box. I just wonder if they're trying to outwit the weather, biding their time until this current heat wave passes us by. Either way, I think it was awfully nice of them to bring their babies back up here to show them off. Who knows what the real motivation was, really. Perhaps they're showing the young an example of a suitable nestbox. Or maybe they just needed a known-safe hunting ground to let the fledglings get some practice finding meals on their own. Regardless, the feeling of satisfaction at seeing them return was akin to seeing a finished piece of artwork displayed in a gallery under perfect lighting and ambiance. It just feels right.