Friday, 26 June 2015

Eastern Bluebird (Merlebleu de l'est)

Three Bridges Road
St. Jacobs, ON
25 June 2015

     Recently my time has been pretty much occupied with keeping watch on the young Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus (along with a whole team of volunteers) to make sure that they receive any help they might need if they get into trouble while familiarizing themselves with the hazards of an urban environment. Every day they become more proficient and their expertise grows exponentially, so I think we are nearing the end of our concern.
     Yesterday we had to go and pick up an order of bag sausage, a Mennonite delicacy in this part of the world, and on the way back home we swung by one of our most reliable spots to see Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis. We knew that by now they should be feeding young and a little patience was quickly rewarded.
     The first bird we spotted was this female with a juicy morsel to be delivered to hungry mouths at the nest.

     The male was not to be outdone and we saw him drop from a perch to snag a butterfly.

     This is a species that gives reason for great optimism. Several years ago the species was in steep decline due to lack of natural nesting cavities, and increased competition from such introduced birds as House Sparrow Passer domesticus and Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Thanks to a concerted effort by many bird lovers entire trails of bluebird boxes have been established and the species is making a robust and much welcomed comeback.
     Once a bluebird enlivens your morning it's pretty hard to have the rest of the day be anything but great!


  1. Hi David,
    fabulous photos of this wonderful bird with and without his meal. Fantastic feathers !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  2. Seeing parents provide well for their 'kiddies' is always a rewarding event to witness...but gotta go my bluejuy is calling me for peanuts...guess I'm its parent or local diner...hmmmm...which one?

  3. Hello, David
    Wonderful captures of the Bluebirds. They are beautiful birds, I am so glad they made a comeback. Happy Birding!

  4. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of the Eastern Bluebird.
    Great with food in its beak for the young birds.
    Best regards, Irma

  5. Hi David. Beautiful birds and photos. I wonder why Sparrows and Starlings don't use these boxes and Bluebirds do.
    I would think a nest box is a nest box. Of course I am glad to hear of the comeback of the Bluebirds.

    1. The nest boxes are designed, Jan, with an entrance hole too small to admit a starling. House Sparrows are a different matter, however. They have no difficulty getting in and they aggressively drive away the bluebirds, sometimes even killing bluebirds sitting on eggs.

  6. I am very glad that thanks to people like you, these cute bird population has increased. Regards.

  7. What beautiful birds, a great series of shots David

  8. Wonderful! And what color feathers! Beautiful photos :) Yours

  9. Hi David,
    In my eyes it one of the prettiest passerine birds, worth an outing for it alone.
    Lovely to see them with food in the beak!
    Huge hugs to share with Miriam from your french friends!

    1. They truly are gorgeous little birds, Noushka. Come on over and photograph them to your heart's content!

  10. Great post!

    The Western Bluebird (rather than Eastern) was the first bird I photographed when I visited the USA as a birdwatching virgin in 2008, David, and I can tell you that I was pretty excited by its wonderful irridescence! So pleased to hear that its cousin, the Eastern Bluebird, is making a comeback.

    Great to hear of the wellbeing of the Peregrines too.

    See you soon - - - - Richard

    1. Did you by any chance get to see Mountain Bluebird, Richard? Perhaps the most spectacular of the three species. See you SOON is right! Less than four weeks now.

    2. Yep. Got a pair of Mountain Bluebird too! However, distant and poor record shots. 25 days by my reckoning!

  11. Hello Richard, such a wonderful bleu colours this bird has. Nice to see he and the female are providing food for their young ones.
    Must be a fantastic feeling to have been able to contribute to another succesful Pergrine season. Hope the juveniels find their way and live a long life to bring up their own youngsters.

  12. Ciekawy gatunek i fajne zdjęcia. Dobrze, że są ludzie którzy pomagają tym ptakom.

    Pozdrawiam serdecznie ;-)

  13. Hi David!
    Si lovely ! The photos and the stories about the birds
    Big hug