Bluebirds are back

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Surprise visit from my old friends the bluebirds yesterday. A small flock of 5 or 6 flew into the backyard and flitted around for about 20 minutes.

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They perched in a birch tree. We planted these birches a year after we moved in, 18 years ago. They grew up fast!.. so did our daughters who were entering kindergarten and 4th grade when we got here. Now they are 27 and 23, one working, the other in college in Boston. Time flies.

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The bluebirds inspected an old nest box.

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Pretty bird.

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They also inspected the old bluebird nest box, while a titmouse kept an eye on them. Wonder if the bluebirds started their lives in that nest box.

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Are bluebirds nostalgic? Do they like to visit their old digs now and then? Or are they simply scoping out some good roosting places to spend the nights this winter?

Adios, nest box

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Fledgeling!

The bluebirds have left the nest. This is a cellphone pic edited on Instagram.

I have been busy with home improvement projects on my own usually-empty nest, currently full of my two visiting 20-something daughters and airline pilot husband home from a trip.

Baby bluebirds

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A quick cellphone pic of five baby bluebirds in the Gilbertson nest box. Look at their little pin feathers popping out! And already they are showing their true blue colors, with a bit of (dinosaur) green.

The bluebird parents take turns bringing bugs to the nestlings all day long. We see them from our kitchen window and back deck. When I was mowing the lawn and got near the nest box the male bluebird dive-bombed me, even touching my head lightly a few times.

Guess these bluebirds aren’t slackers after all. They even laid another egg after I took the photo in early May.

Questions about bluebirds? This site is amazing: Sialis.org

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Full of innocent vivacity, warbling its ever pleasing notes, and familiar as any bird can be in its natural freedom, it is one of the most agreeable of our feathered favorites. The pure azure of its mantel, and the glow of its breast, render it conspicuous, as it flits through the orchards and gardens, crosses the fields or meadows, or hops along by the roadside. – John James Audubon

Remember when the bluebirds were courting on snowy Valentines Day?.. Love birds

What to expect when you’re expecting…

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… baby bluebirds.

On April 23, I took a pic of the nest with two eggs. Yesterday I discovered there are now four eggs. The female doesn’t seem to be in the nest enough to incubate and hatch the eggs. But maybe soon she will get with the program.

Or maybe this is a pair of slacker bluebirds. Just mooching suet dough off me and posing winsomely for photos. I guess we will find out eventually.

Hello, I’m back

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Great Egret goes fishing, in Stuart, Florida.

I was in Florida for a few weeks and I have been a slacker when it comes to keeping up with the blog. And I have some nice bird pics from the Sunshine State too.

Home now, and the bluebirds are nesting in the bluebird box…

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Will she lay another or will there be just two baby bluebirds? The nest is made of pine needles, with a bit of feather down fluff for added insulation.

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Chickadees come to the feeder even when I am standing right next to it, the bold ones.

Home inspection

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A male bluebird was here yesterday, checking out the real estate.

Sixteen degrees this morning, but the birds are singing their spring songs and the days are fast growing longer. Eleven hours 22 minutes today, we have gained an hour and 20 minutes of daylight in one month. Soon (March 16 here) the day will be 12 hours long – half day, half night.

Love birds

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Are these bluebirds a pair?

They were here for a few hours yesterday and just showed up again today.

I am counting this weekend for the Great Backyard Bird Count and the NH Audubon Backyard Winter Survey (which don’t always overlap weekends).

Today and tomorrow are my weekly winter Project Feederwatch counts too.

A great pastime, peering out the window into bright sunshine, watching the birds… and helping them to survive this cold snap by keeping my feeders full. It was -11 when we woke up this morning, ouch.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay warm.

Bluebirds and a crazed puppy

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Yesterday morning a flock of Eastern Bluebirds, maybe 8 or 10, visited the edge of our back field. They spent time in the shrubby undergrowth plucking tiny rose hips and fat winterberries.

I had my German Shepherd pup Radar with me. It was a beautiful winter morning and I had seen and photographed bluebirds, oh joy! We walked down the long path to Grandfather Pine. Radar crossed the little creek and came back with…

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… a deer leg. Probably dropped by a coyote. There have been lots of coyote tracks out back this winter.

The deer leg was, unfortunately, the most amazing and delicious toy/ snack he has ever had in his six months of happy life.

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He ran around and jumped for joy. Then he set about gnawing flesh and bone and playing keep away when I got near.

I had a very hard time getting it away from him and getting him back inside. I tricked him finally by whizzing a frisbee past him. He dropped the leg and chased the frisbee. I got the leg and disposed of it in a plastic bag tossed in our trash. Then he wouldn’t drop the frisbee and come inside. I had to fake him out with “go for a ride in the car? go for a walk in the woods?” He jumped in the open back of my Subaru Outback. Then I felt compelled to actually follow through on my promise, since he smart and will stop believing me if I don’t do what I say. That deer leg brought out the wild beast in him.

This morning he pooped out deer fur.

UPDATE

Right after I posted this, some bluebirds (members of the same flock?) showed up at our feeders. It is a very cold morning, 5 degrees, and they are boosting their calorie intake with some peanuts and safflower seeds. Must make some more homemade suet dough today!

This fellow held still long enough for some nice pics…

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