Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Bluebird’

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A little while ago my mom emailed me and was wondering if we had our bluebirds back. At the time we had only consistently seen a male Eastern Bluebird.

Male Eastern Bluebird

Just last week he seemed to have found a mate.

Female and Male Eastern Bluebirds

These two were perched on some branches overlooking the nesting box we have at the end of our driveway in our front yard.

Female Eastern Bluebird

Just yesterday I caught the female hard at work.

Does this stuff make my beak look too big?

Under the watchful eyes of her mate Mrs. Bluebird was perfecting her nest in the box. It was interesting to note that she took about 20 – 30 minutes between visits and it kind of makes me laugh to see how much she can hold in her beak.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this glimpse into this year’s Bluebird couple. In a few weeks I hope to report that we’ve had some eggs hatched. I will keep you posted.

I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Our yard offers birds lots of trees to perch on. Some of the favorites are the evergreens where they are often watching over their young or on the hunt for food.

American Robin on Alaskan cedar

Female Eastern Bluebird on spruce tree

One of our favorite backyard birds is the Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe on Alaskan cedar

After a quick bath the phoebe perched on the cedar to dry off.

The phoebe keeps watch for its preferred food

Is that a fly down there that I can catch?

According to the “All About Birds” website phoebes “typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses.” We’ve looked around our house and there isn’t a nest on it that we’ve found so we aren’t sure where these little birds are nesting but they must be close by as they are frequently hunting all around our yard.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole with bug in beak

Sometimes even when the birds are eating berries they can find a tasty bug right under their beaks. You may have to click on the above image to see the what the oriole found.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A few weeks ago I showed you some of the birds that were feeding on our serviceberry tree. We also have a shrub form that sets its fruit just a little later than the tree. These shrubs have been a hot bed of bird activity recently. As you will see each type of bird has their own method of feeding on the berries. Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

Let’s start with the American Robin.

The stem is a good form of roughage.

Grasp the berry in your beak and then…

…toss your head up and pop it in your mouth.

Another bird that uses the swallow whole method is the Cedar Waxwing.

First you have to find the right berry.

Pluck the berry from the stem and…

…down the hatch it goes.

We haven’t see or heard from our Baltimore Orioles much in the past few weeks but I did see one in the serviceberry bushes enjoying some fruit.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole stabbing a serviceberry.

The last of the birds that usually snarf the berries whole is the Eastern Bluebird.

Let me see which one is the ripest.

I’ll take this one…

…but I’d prefer to take it to another tree to nibble on it.

The bluebird surprised me by flying off to another tree with the berry. He set it down on the branch and surprisingly it didn’t roll off. Then he settled in and picked away at it until it was gone.

Some of the smaller species enjoy the serviceberries too but they can’t eat them whole. Here the Tufted Titmouse demonstrates how they eat.

This berry looks tasty.

I’ll hold it in my claw so I can peck at it.

Finally one of the smallest birds in our yard, not including the hummingbirds, also enjoys eating the serviceberries. Here a Black-capped Chickadee demonstrates his method.

I like to grab the berry while it’s still attached and hold it in my claw.

It’s easy to peck at while you hold it.

Do I have some berry on my beak?

If you look closely at the last picture (click to make bigger) you can see a tiny piece of berry in the chickadee’s beak.

While I was shooting these pictures Charlie was on a photo safari of his own in the yard and captured this picture.

This is how I get pictures of such small birds.

Here I am shooting pictures with my new FujiFilm X-T3 camera. I have a 100-400 mm lens and a 1.4x multiplier. As you can see I am hand holding the camera. I could never do that with my old Nikon. This set up weighs about 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) compared to the Nikon equivalent that weighed over 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg). I do use a monopod occasionally for extra stability and to lighten the load from hanging around my neck. I’m really enjoying getting back into bird photography. Our yard is so full of bird activity right now I’m having a difficult time keeping up with all the pictures I’m taking.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Our serviceberry tree and shrubs (Amelanchier) are full of fruit right now and the birds are enjoying the feast.

Gray Catbird

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Bluebirds are normally insect eaters and are regulars at our mealworm feeder but I also caught our female bluebird snacking on a serviceberry. She is looking in the direction of their nest box where their young are still growing. I wonder if she is trying to decide whether to eat it or share it with her babies.

Female Eastern Bluebird

This last couple of shots I didn’t even see happen when I took the pictures. It wasn’t until after I downloaded them to my computer that I saw what really took place. I was focused on the Cedar Waxwing on the left and didn’t see that another one was approaching on the right with a serviceberry in its beak.


Thank you!

My guess is that the “giver” is a male and the “recipient” is a female. It’s too early in the season for this to be a parent/child pair and many bird couples court by the male feeding the female.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

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We love seeing all the birds around our yard. Here are a few of our regular visitors.

Gray Catbird

Many birds love our mealworm feeder. We made a small change to this feeder by adding a baffle to the stand.

Female Eastern Bluebird

The main reason for adding the baffle is to keep the chipmunks from pigging out on the mealworms. It has worked perfectly and so far this year we haven’t been going through as many mealworms as we have in the past.

Male Eastern Bluebird

This pair of bluebirds are our second pair of the season. We have two bluebird boxes on opposite sides of our yard. The first pair in the north box have successfully raised their young. The second pair of bluebirds were aggressive towards the first pair so after the babies fledged the first family left the yard. The second pair of bluebirds are now sitting on eggs in the south box so we hope to see more babies soon.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It’s too bad the hummingbird didn’t turn his head just right to catch the sun on his gorget. We are again hosting a male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbird so we hope to see some young ones in a few weeks.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

Read Full Post »

Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. A couple of weeks ago we were woken up in the morning by a banging on a window downstairs somewhere. Charlie remembered the same thing happening last year at about the same time of year and was pretty sure he knew what it was. On closer inspection his suspicions were confirmed. Watch this video to see who was doing the knocking.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

We are so excited to see our Eastern Bluebirds back for another season and are fairly certain that this is the same pair we had last year.

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Our suspicions that this is the same pair is based on the fact that the female exhibited the same behavior of attacking the windows as she did last year. This pair is already staking their claim to one of our bluebird nest boxes (the same one they used last year).

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Above is a satellite view of our house. We have two bluebird nest boxes indicated by the arrows. From the spring of 2010 through the summer of 2014 we had a pair of bluebirds nesting in the Meadow Box. We watched them raise multiple broods and enjoyed close up views when they would all come to our mealworm feeder in the yard. In 2015 we were without any resident bluebirds but in 2016 another pair showed up. This pair picked the Driveway Box to nest in. We were a little disappointed since the Driveway box is not easily viewed from inside the house or even from the back yard.

Another disappointing thing about this pair is that last year they never discovered our mealworm feeder. Even though we put out worms and every other bird in the yard would feed there, this pair didn’t seem to figure it out. They would use the birdbath that was just a few feet away but the activity of the other birds never enticed them to visit the feeder.

They're using the feeder!

They’re using the feeder!

This year they came back well before any natural food is available, like live bugs, so we think that is why they finally found the feeder. We have just finished the warmest February in history for our area and never before have we seen a pair of bluebirds take up residence so soon. We have our fingers (and paws) crossed that they eventually bring their babies to the feeder so we can enjoy seeing them this year. We don’t think they are nesting quite yet as we haven’t seen Mrs. Bluebird bringing any nesting material to the box. It is still quite early and on average too cold for that yet.

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

One by product of Mrs. Bluebird’s activities is that all our windows are now full of smudges from her wings. I guess this is the bird equivalent to the dog’s nose art!

We are so excited to have our bluebirds back and will hopefully have some family pictures to show you come spring.

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