IMG_2627Recently Oklahoma had a big blast of cold Arctic air that kept temperatures below freezing for several days and punished us with single digit lows at night.  I didn’t see the bluebirds for about five days.  Puzzling, because I’d

Click images to enlarge.

have thought it was difficult for them to catch any insects and would relish their mealworms even more than normal.  They showed up with a couple of other male bluebirds that I assume are some of the offspring from their last brood.  It’s impossible to tell them from Daddy II except for his behavior.

Although bluebirds eat primarily insects, they are forced to eat berries some in the winter when bugs aren’t available.  I’ve seen them eating juniper berries in the yard.  I have other berries available–  nandina, Indian Hawthorne and hollies, but I’ve never seen the bluebirds eat them.

There are lots of House Finches, goldfinches and juncos in the yard in winter, but the bluebirds pay them no mind.  I have noticed the birds seem to come in waves to the feeders and this seems to cause the bluebirds to come to the yard.  I guess just to stake out their property rights on the nestbox.

Winter is hard on songbirds.  They rely mainly on burning calories to keep warm and if IMG_2632natural food sources are covered in ice or snow can perish in a short time.  Keep your feeders filled and some suet available.

Oklahoma bluebirds don’t migrate in winter.  I often see flocks of Eastern Bluebirds in the Cross Timbers.  Migrants from up north I guess.  I’m sure the folks up there miss them and look forward to their return as a sign of spring.  I’m sure glad ours spend the entire year with us.

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About lindell dillon

Lindell Dillon is retired and lives in Norman, OK. He grew up in Duncan, attended Cameron College and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. His interests include photography, nature, birding, and investing. Oklahoma Master Naturalist, alumnus Norman Police Department Citizens Academy.
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One Response to

  1. Kimberly Roulet says:

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Grey was out filling feeders and sprinkling seed over the ice for the poor birdies here.

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