Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eastern Bluebirds..


As the female Eastern Bluebird patiently watches, the male  puts on a show and proudly displays his gorgeous blue feathers. I'm sure his antics are well meaning and he is only trying to reassure her that she got the best bird, but he is quite the show-off...  
 A few weeks ago I watched him go in and out of the bluebird house I have outside my bedroom window, but to my disappointment, they didn't choose this spot for their nest. I latter learned that the male was actually performing a "Nest Demonstration Display" to attract the female. He "demonstrates" to her that he is capable of building a nest, but when it's time to get down to work, he doesn't do a thing to help! The female solely builds their nest and incubates the eggs.  Even if he doesn't do his share of the work at the home nest, his charm and good looks are enough for me...
  
The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, is a small thrush that prefers open woodlands and farmlands.  The bluebird declined in numbers in years past partly because of competition with other birds such as starlings and sparrows for nest cavities. Now, thanks to a huge campaign to provide bluebirds with proper nest boxes in their native habitat, their existence is no longer threatened.

I can remember my grandfather watching for the return of the bluebirds each spring, but I've had at least three visiting my feeders all winter. The availability of food usually determines whether they migrate and between my suet, that they are particularly fond of, and the availability of natural food sources, they must have felt secure that they would make it through the winter months.



On March 30, 1927, the native Eastern Bluebird became the official state bird of Missouri.  I can't think of a bird that better represents my state.  Missouri is know as the "Show Me" state, maybe that's why the male has to do the nest building demonstration... The female can't just take him at his word when he tells her what a great mate he will be, she probably says, "Show me."

For more posts, info and photography of birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly.







12 comments:

  1. So cuuuute! Wonderful shots. And your suet must be marvelous.

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  2. Great shots of the bluebird. We have a few around all winter, but I never see them at our feeders. Obviously, the suet we have on offer just isn't of the same quality as yours.

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  3. Brilliant pics and LOL at the comment about the male bird displaying his ability to make and keep house...but the reality being the female does it all :) Any similarities with the human species...? :D

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  4. Bluebirds have such great color! I see them in my garden during certain times of year. I put out special food and a nesting box hoping they will stay but I have never had one nest here yet.

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  5. Bluebirds are my favorite Rebecca and you have some great shots of them here! I really like that last photo of the male on the suet feeder.

    Even though I have Western Bluebirds nest here every year, I have never had them come to my feeders. Probably because there is enough insect activity for them here during the year. I don't feed them meal worms either. They are beautiful, self sufficient birds and amazing parents!

    It does crack me up when I see the male in the spring time sitting atop the bird house with one piece of straw dangling from his beak, as if he was actually doing something ;-)

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  6. Love that last photo. They are so pretty.

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  7. You've captured the beauty of the bluebird so wonderfully! I didn't know any of these facts about them - thank you...we don't see them here in Central Texas. When we were in Montana last summer I saw houses for them all along the highway and thought how cool it is that people try so hard to attract them and provide them shelter.

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  8. Great photos of a beautiful little bird. The colors are lovely. Wish we had some of those down here but they possibly wouldn't like our environment.

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  9. Dear Rebecca, I love the bluebirds that visit my heated water dish all winter. Now I know some fascinating facts about them that I didn't know before. Thanks for the information! P x

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  10. I love bluebirds! We have to try pretty hard to see them here in Oregon.

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  11. Hey Becks
    Superb pics, really impressed. What are you using to shoot with?

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  12. Yes, the last pic is stunning.

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