The Bluebird of Happiness

Kym Kemp / Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 @ 9:36 p.m. / Daily Photo , Humboldt , plants ,  wildlife

bluebird

Male Western Bluebird

Daily Photo

The Western Bluebird lives here year round.  But even in the wilds of Humboldt, their habitat is disappearing and they compete with European Starlings for nesting space so catching a glimpse of this one perched on my just pruned maple delighted me.

In the warmer months they eat insects but through the winter they largely subsist on mistletoe berries.  The cutting down of oak forests for vineyards and human sprawl is leading to a loss of the mistletoe and of them.  Sadly they are listed on the Audubon Watch List now.

19 comments

  • I’m not sure I have ever seen a Bluebird in this area. Nice closeup.
  • A beautiful little creature. Great capture, Kym.
  • the bluebird of beauty…..
  • He looks like you got him to pose! I didn’t know they were in decline. Happily, there are a few thriving pairs nesting in boxes made by Salmon Creek Community School kids (thanks to avian expert dad, Kyle). I think they’re even part of a national survey that keeps annual track of the population. These boxes are installed all around the loop and are definitely getting used. I’m so glad, because they really are such cheerful creatures with their bright plumage and swooping flight!
  • Great shot! He does look like he’s posing, and he seems to be well aware of how handsome he is. I love your bird photos.
  • That is a beautiful, proud little bird.
  • Great picture! One of my favorite birds. Okay! They are all my favorite birds. Happy now?

    The Western Blue Bird nests in rotten knot holes, but the holes also have to be just the exact right size or they will reject them. Woodpecker holes are a favorite Blue Bird nest. Also a favorite nest of the Starling. So, I gues it’s a who came first thing. The Woodpeker is not endangered, and it can build itself another hole. The Starling is agresive and will take over a nest site, so the poor little Blue Bird is getting squeezed out.

    The Blue Birds only nest in the higher locations, they are not a valley bird. They like to be high and free. So those people along the ridges should consider building nest boxes for them.
  • Beautiful. I love your photos. Say, another bird who depends — heavily — upon a mistletoe that grows on some desert trees is the pretty phainopepla: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phainopepla. My friend wrote the entry.
  • Kym, this looks like a photo worthy of a bird book! I love seeing the blue birds. There is something very joyful about their flight and vibrant color.
  • Very nice photo. I love any bird that is blue. I haven’t seen a Western Blue Bird, (except in my Audobons), but I’ve seen a lot of blue jays in Colorado, and Stellar’s jays out here. Also pinon jays.
  • What a beautiful bird. He almost looks as though he is a ceramic model with the light reflecting off him and the colours flowing into each other.
  • kym you are the best thanks
  • Kym… I will never forget stopping at the top of the Alderpoint Road at the Harris junction and finding the oak trees full of hundreds of Western Bluebirds. They must have been feeding on mistletoe berries. The trees were full of them as far as I could see. It was wonderful. Pray for rain.
  • What a little beauty, very nicely observed
  • Kym, thanks for sharing that. He’s beautiful!
  • great shot……i have not seen one of these….i have been seeing lots of hawks and owls lately….no blue birds like this though. wish i had your talent. thanks
  • Wow.


    Reminds me of a Christmas card my great uncle Roscoe sent to my grandfather one year: May the bluebird of happiness crap in your Christmas pie.
  • Great shot - all the birds out here (except the eagles) are so shy (because of the eagles) - I’m looking forward to getting a long lens for my DSLR this month so I can start trying to capture some (besides eagles) heheh
  • I’ve never seen one so close! They are beautiful.
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