Sunday, May 18, 2014

Eastern Bluebird Couple

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds have been seen frequently in our front yard so I'm assuming they've taken up residence close by.  I love the beautiful blue and bright orange plumage of these birds and they grab my attention when they're within my eyes view.  They often perch on the wooden fence near my bedroom, our roof gable or the power line in our front yard.  One time I spotted the female bluebird perched on the power line with a huge spider in her beak and I thought to myself,  "Have all the spiders your little heart desires".  ;)

Male Eastern Bluebird
Female Eastern Bluebird

Male Eastern Bluebirds are vivid, deep blue above and rusty or brick-red on the throat and breast. Blue in birds always depends on the light, and males often look plain gray-brown from a distance. Females are grayish above with bluish wings and tail, and a subdued orange-brown breast. The male Eastern Bluebird displays at his nest cavity to attract a female. He brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and waves his wings while perched above it. That is pretty much his contribution to nest building; only the female Eastern Bluebird builds the nest and incubates the eggs.  

Insects caught on the ground are a bluebird’s main food for much of the year. Major prey include caterpillars, beetles crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders. In fall and winter, bluebirds eat large amounts of fruit including mistletoe, sumac, blueberries, black cherry, tupelo, currants, wild holly, dogwood berries, hackberries, honeysuckle, bay, pokeweed, and juniper berries.

Eastern Bluebirds put their nests in natural cavities or in nest boxes or other artificial refuges. Among available natural cavities, bluebirds typically select old woodpecker holes in dead pine or oak trees, up to 50 feet off the ground. Older bluebirds are more likely than younger ones to nest in a nest box, although individual birds often switch their preferences between nesting attempts.

Here's what a bluebird song sounds like:

"Be like the bluebird who never is blue, 
for he knows from his upbringing what singing can do" ~ Cole Porter

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