It is very important to keep track of the time when events take place in a nest. Here are some important times (Reference: for more details, see "Enjoying Bluebirds More, The Bluebird Landlord's Handbook," by Julie Zickefoose.)
Nesting times on average (Eastern Bluebirds:)
Nest Building: 1-6 days; Egg laying: 5-7 days; Incubation: 12-14 days;
Brooding: 6 days; Fledging: 16-21 days (18 average.)
Nesting Schedule days after hatching (Day 1 is hatch day:)
Day 1: Bright Coral-pink skin, eyes closed.
Day 2-4: Wings, head, spine look bluish due to developing feathers under skin.
Day 5-7: Feather sheaths begin to emerge on wings. Eyes still closed.
Day 7: First feathers burst from tip of sheaths. Eyes open as slits. Brooding by female stops.
Day 8-11: Eyes fully open. Feathers continue to burst sheaths.
Day 11-12: Feathers of wing and tail reveal cobalt blue in males, duller gray-blue in females. Female Eastern Bluebirds show white edging on outer tail feathers.
Day 13: Cut-off date for box checks. Fully feathered young become increasingly active, and may fledge prematurely if box is open.
Day 14-22: Fledging and first flight. Empty nest soiled, flattened. Young remain in cover while parents bring food.
Day 28 on: Fledglings fly strongly, following parents who feed them.
Day 30 on: Fledglings feed unassisted.
Please feel free to send me, Fawzi Emad, any corrections, observations, comments or questions. Thank you! (The tail feather on the left is from Koko, our Blue-Front Amazon Parrot.)