Beau May 22nd, 2007
Is there any bird that seems as joyful and comforting as the Bluebird? Perhaps there are many, but when the Eastern Bluebird is around, the home just seems more welcoming. Their lively flight chasing insects and holding to the side of trees is fun to watch, and their warbling chirrup song is calming when working outside. They’re not always around, but sometimes they seem to spend a few hours in the same location during the day.
I watched three male bluebirds, perhaps recently fledged young this year, chasing each other back and forth over the garden the other day. They flew almost non-stop for about thirty minutes back and forth from treetop to treetop, and landing on the fence, birdhouses, wires or anything else they could find. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and chased each other vigorously, grasping feathers and claws and then perching side-by-side while taking a break.
Populations have apparently declined in many eastern states, especially with West Nile virus the past few years. But in many areas people put up nest boxes (as my folks did for many years) that the bluebirds come back to each year. In winter they seem to disappear into the forest, making brief appearances on warmer days. Their populations seem to be doing just fine locally, and the property helps since they like open forest and grassy areas to forage for insects. I caught a few of their antics with the camera…