I just wanted to report - for those of you who have been following my bluebird posts - that the babies fledged earlier this week. We saw mom and dad feeding them Monday morning but when we got home from work they were conspicuously absent. The nest was empty. They were ready to go and hopefully they will come back and visit from time to time.
We have heard them in the trees in the neighboring yards but haven't seen them yet. The old nest has been removed. Hopefully in a week or so, mom and dad will be feeling frisky again and bless us with a new nest and babies. I know we may seem like nuts - but please look at this as a good thing.
Sadly though, in our local newspaper yesterday there was an article about a bluebird trail at an elementary school in a neighboring town that had been vandalized. My heart broke as I read that some person(s) put golf balls in the entrance hole of two bluebird boxes that had babies and essentially killed them. I would like to think that this was done by children who didn't realize that there were babies in there. I would like to hope that their parents and all parents read this newspaper article and share this with their children and they learn that this is a very bad thing.
I wish that the article contained information on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that states that this is a punishable offense of 6 months in jail or up to $15,000. The Department of Fish and Game is responsible for enforcing this law, and again, sadly, they seldom are able to find the offenders and when they do the fine is often in the range of $500. Still, I would like to see this published in the newspaper in the hope that, again, parents will share it, teachers will share it, and maybe, just maybe (being the Pollyanna that I am sometimes apt to be) hope that it will at least put some fear into the heads of these and future vandals. Now, I will get off my soapbox. (Just a note - I checked the website of the paper and another person has already posted this information about the MBTA. Maybe in their follow-up, the paper will add this.)
Oh, I forgot - while it is okay to remove an old nest, it is illegal to keep them without a permit according to the MBTA that is linked above.