Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Nebraska Bird Review (March 1986) 54(1).


Copyright 1986, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


The female Mountain Bluebird and male Eastern x Mountain Bluebird nesting in Dawes Co. (NBR 53: 67) successfully fledged two broods, each with four young, in the summer of 1985. Young from the first nesting fledged in the last week of June. About 1 July the parents renested. Since the pair was observed copulating, it is highly probable that the hybrid male was the father of the young to be raised.

In mid-July the eggs hatched, but at this time the female became obviously ill. She sat on a fence with feathers ruffled and did not feed the young. Two or three days after hatching she disappeared. We believe she died, since birds are extremely reluctant to abandon a nest with small young. The male just flew his wings off feeding the babies all by himself, but he was successful. All four young fledged. The young from both nestings showed some warm brown in their underparts. perhaps hinting at their Eastern Bluebird ancestry. Interestingly, this fall (1985) a flock of about ten Eastern Bluebirds spent two days at this Pine Ridge location.