Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This picture was taken on May the 12th. The clutch of 4 young Eastern Bluebirds haves since fledged. They are usually found sitting on a high pole in the garden from which they swoop down for their insect prey and then return to their perch. I enjoy listening to them talk to one another whilst I am tending the garden. Comstock writes, "There is a family resemblance between the voices of the bluebird and robin, a certain rich quality of tone; but the robin's song is far more assertive and complex than is the soft, "purling" song of the bluebird..."
The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and I never observed one during the 22 years that I lived there. Here in Kentucky, they are quite plentiful. Although the migration maps show that they winter here, I do not recall seeing them between mid-November and late February.
Non-native House Sparrows and European Starlings are notorious for their attempts to commandeer the nesting box and one must be observant and vigilant to keep them at bay. One must also clean out the box after the young birds fledge as one can often get a second brood. It is a good idea to gently wash the inside with some soap and water to remove the feces and any mites that may have taken up residence.