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Showing posts from March, 2017

Bluebirds = Happiness

We use birds to symbolize different emotions or events - the American Robin is a sign for spring, the dove is for peace, and an Eagle conveys strength. These are all very fitting, and none more so than the Bluebird of happiness. Who doesn't smile when they see a Bluebird? When I see their pretty blue feathers, and fluffy orangey-pink breast it brightens my day. Their song is even a happy one (listen to it here).



 Not too long ago the Eastern Bluebird population was in decline, but with education and conservation efforts, it has made a strong come back. Starlings and House Sparrows aggressively competed with the bluebirds for nesting sites, often killing one or both parents and destroying the eggs in the process. Bluebird boxes placed in areas with good bluebird habitat have helped them have successful nesting seasons, and the numbers have greatly improved.

You can tell the females and males apart by the brilliance of the males blue feathers, but the female is, in my opinion, a bea…

Tea Time With The Eastern Towhee

Every year or two I decide to concentrate on a specific group of birds. This year it is the sparrow family, and within that family resides one of my favorites - the Eastern Towhee. They are much larger than the other "Little Brown Birds", and the males have a very dramatic colorization of black and dark orange (rufous), and the females are a paler brown with rufous breast. Towhees are a bit shy, and so you will need to search for them under brush and in thickets where they can be found scratching for seeds and insects.

The male Eastern Towhee will sing his song "Drink Your Teeeea!" at the top of his lungs every spring. He does this to attract a mate and declare his territory. Apparently male towhees think drinking tea is an extremely macho attribute! (click the link above to listen to their song)


Towhees are often found in brushy areas scratching in the leaves looking for tender nibbles. You have to look carefully to see them, but if you are patient they will somet…

The Mundane

You know who they are... those mundane everyday birds that make birders groan and curse. American Robins, Northern Mockingbirds, European Starlings, and Grackles are some of The Mundane, but gosh I love 'em.

We sometimes get tired of seeing "Red-breasted Yard Birds", but we forget to gripe about them in the late winter when they invade our yards. Instead of bemoaning their existence we look forward to the promise of warm days and spring. Sing, little Robin! Sing spring into being!
I love Mockingbirds. Sorry, but they are one of my favorite birds. I know that breeding season is close when our resident bastards start bullying everyone from the feeders. They settle down after a week or two, and eventually the other birds will return, but until that time ALL of the food is theirs!
Common Grackles are annoying... they can be one step above European Starlings on the annoyance scale. Just like Starlings they will bring all of their cousins and closest friends to your backyard …