Four Seasons

Four Seasons
Blessed by the beauty of Creation ~ sharing what I see from my little place in His world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bluebirds of Happiness

Does the weather affect your moods? I know it can mine!  Lately we've been having dark, foggy, and rainy days... and I'm thankful for the rain because it was getting quite dry.  But this time of year-- after most of the pretty leaves are gone and a lot of the birds have flown south, well, it can be a little depressing.  So it really gave my heart a lift to have a flock of bluebirds in our yard yesterday morning.  They aren't called 'Bluebirds of Happiness' for nothing.  (There is even a wikipedia page on that subject, here's a link!)

In the early morning fog, I went out on our deck to fill the birdfeeders and I heard the soft, sweet sound of a bluebird.  Then I heard a few bluebirds talking to each other.  (Listen here)  As I looked around, I saw a flock of them flitting around our garden!
After nesting season is over, it's typical to see bluebirds in flocks.  I've read they can gather in flocks of up to 100.  Wouldn't that be something to see!  I estimated this flock at 12 to 14 birds.  I could only estimate, because none of them were still for long.  They were busily checking out all three nearby nesting boxes.

I wonder if the next box looked familiar?  It is the house that 3 babies fledged from this summer.
I also wondered if the male in the following photos is the same bird who was not so graceful at sitting on the garden fence when he was a youngster?  (There's a video of that in this post.)
Oh well, it was wet and probably slippery!  He looks more elegant in the next two photos.
My field guide range maps for eastern bluebirds show our area as on the northern edge of where they typically spend the winter.  Our property list of birds (first sightings for the year)  that we've kept since 2008 records eastern bluebirds on January 14, 15, March 14, 15th, and one year as late as April 8th.  Of course the years when we saw them later they could have been around somewhere. 

We do have a number of nesting boxes for them to use, but I've never feed them meal worms.  (Being insect and berry eaters, they aren't interested in bird seed).  However, there is a collection of online data called Project Feeder Watch that does list eastern bluebirds.  It's very interesting to see the increase in numbers of bluebirds over the years since 1989.  Here's a link to Project Feeder Watch.  You'll have to enter the species name 'Eastern Bluebird' in the box to see that particular data.  It's well worth a look!

And keep looking for bluebirds... there is one in this picture:
He's really in there, here's a close-up to help you find him:
 I hope you have a happy day!