Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bluebirds Return!

Male Eastern Bluebird perched atop a bluebird house in the Chateau Papillon back yardReaders of this blog may recall how free-roaming cats killed the pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting in our back yard earlier this summer, and how we saved a couple of the babies and got them to a wildlife rehabilitator. As we hadn't seen a sign (nor heard a sound) of a bluebird since--and one of our neighbors remarked how it had been "years" since they'd seen bluebirds in the cul-de-sac--Beth and I both feared we'd be without these adorable members of the thrush family for quite some time ahead.

Today, as part of Cornell University's Project Feederwatch, I was giving the back yard a thorough once-over for bird activity when I spied something out of the corner of my eye, something with an orange and white belly. Could it be a bluebird?

I grabbed my camera and carefully opened the window for a closer look, hoping it wasn't a trick of the light or "just" a robin.

Indeed! We had a male Eastern Bluebird on our feeder, looking at the snow-covered mealworm tray, and after a moment, he flew over to land atop one of the bluebird houses in our yard. I called Beth over, and she thinks she saw a female fly off the house just as the male landed on it, so it's possible we could have another pair this spring, and another set of babies!

The return of the bluebirds was really a wonderful sight that absolutely made our weekend. Perhaps the male is young Harry, the sole hatchling of the first clutch our prior pair Nathaniel and Eloise laid, come back to establish a family of his own?

We can only hope!

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