Bluebird Watch Guard

Bonnie T.  Barry

Sunset, United States

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Artist's Description

This male Eastern bluebird makes regular visits to the nesting box on my patio, even during the winter months before the mating season begins. He stands on guard on a nearby branch and watches for squirrels or any intruders that might invade his territory. He’s a very vigilant fellow.

The bluebird is a member of the thrush family, a cousin of robins. A cavity nester, the bluebird was once endangered by the loss of forests and the clearing away of fence lines which greatly reduced the natural cavities in trees these delightful little birds needed for nesting. People helped out by putting out nesting boxes, and the rest is history. The bluebird population has made a wonderful comeback and this cobalt blue bird with the russet breast is once again gracing the countryside with its soft gentle song and its distinctive beauty. The female, a softer hued version of the male, builds a teacup-shaped nest of pine needles and then lays about five blue eggs. She incubates the eggs and with the help of her mate, feeds the hatchlings which fly from the nest to the treetops where the parents continue to feed them for a time. Once they learn to hunt for themselves and find their wings, the parents then start the nesting process all over again, usually producing three clutches (upwards of 15 baby birds) per mating season. In Louisiana where I live, the mating season begins in February and continues through early July. These industrious little birds are a joy to watch and seem to be curious about human activity. When I go out in the garden, they often land on a branch nearby and watch me with guarded interest. They are among my favorites of all the feathered friends that live in my yard year round.

Artwork Comments

  • Lisa G. Putman
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  • Rebecca Bryson
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  • mtozier
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  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
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