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Fledglings

After the long incubation period the Eastern Bluebird fledglings crack open the shell of the egg, and enter the world totally helpless. They are blind, unable to hear, and flightless. They look like little pink blobs at first, but quickly you will start to make out the beak, feet, eyes, and feathers. Fledglings will begin to get spotted breasts, and their down feathers will start to disappear. The down feathers will then be replaced by the adult feather layers.

After a two week period the young bluebirds must not be disturbed or they could prematurely fledge ("fly the coup"). When premature fledging occurs it is easy for them to become targeted by predators. When they fledge (after 2 1/2-3 weeks) the parents help them for a short period of time - teaching them how to catch food and other Eastern Bluebird life skills. After the fleglings have "graduated" from their parents 2-3 week life skills course, they are on their own for the most part. Sometimes, if the bluebirds were born early in the nesting season, they may return to help their parents raise another brood.