Carolyn and I took a cue from some of our feathered friends and migrated south for a few weeks to avoid some of the winter. Enjoyed some great birding along the Lower Rio Grande Valley. You can see some of my photos on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/sets/72157639453501305/
Mama on the favorite backyard perch. Click to enlarge.
We left at Christmas and returned the first week in February to bitter winter cold with highs in the teens and single digit lows at night. My neighbor kept the birds fed while I was gone. But, I didn’t see the bluebirds for six days after we returned. A little doubt crept into my mind. Had they moved on due to the cold? Some bluebirds migrate, but usually not those in Central Oklahoma. I tend to regard these bluebirds as my backyard pets, but they are wild creatures and free to do as they wish.
Daddy showed up on Feb. 11.
breakfast of mealworms. The past few days have been warm and they are showing more interest in the nestbox. The other birds seem to come to the feeders in waves and this often brings in the bluebirds. I think it’s because they see the birds near their nestbox and come in to make sure no one is thinking about taking their home.
As we start a new year hosting bluebirds, I’d like to reflect back on our experience. Our original Mama and Daddy were with us for five years. Then in the summer of 2012, Mama was looking very thin and haggard and eventually didn’t show up with Daddy. I assume she was no longer alive because the two were inseparable. It didn’t take Daddy long to find a new young honey– our current female, Mama II. But after a few weeks Daddy was a no show and I assume he was gone, too. Could have been old age, a hawk or whatever. The female stayed around alone and shortly found a mate, Daddy II. They raised three broods in 2013 and had one clutch of eggs destroyed by a sparrow.
Spring is in the air this week and the bluebirds seem to sense it. Hopefully it will be a good season for the bluebirds and we can put a few more babies on this reddirt hill.