December Bluebirds

A family of eastern bluebirds might be wintering in the park. At least six bluebirds perched on the fence and the fence posts of The Bison and Elk Enclosure in the morning on the first day of December.

A few of them flew to a tree outside of the fence as I walked by. The rest went the other way and landed on a tree inside of the fence. One of the bluebirds in the nearby tree was a young female. I sawΒ an adult female bluebird in this tree in May.

According to the map in my bird book (Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America), this area is a hundred miles north of the winter range of the eastern bluebird. On January 1, 2016, a flock of eastern bluebirds sampled the berries in the bushes near the garden a short walk west of this tree.

Have these bluebirds decided to stay all year in the park? Did they summer to the north and stop here instead of traveling further south? Are they late on their migration travels?

The bluebirds observed me with silent curiosity. They know where they have been and why they are here. I am left to wonder.

December 1, 2017

A male eastern bluebird in a tree in Jester Park, Iowa, December 1, 2017.

A young female eastern bluebird in a tree in Jester Park, Iowa, December 1, 2017.

December 3, 2017

A female eastern bluebird in a tree in Jester Park, Iowa, December 3, 2017.

Take care and thanks for reading.



About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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28 Responses to December Bluebirds

  1. zirah1 says:

    You are fortunate that they have decided to spend some time in your area. Maybe they know how much you appreciate birds and they feel especially welcome, even though it’s supposedly out of their range. Or maybe changing weather patterns on the planet are actually altering what used to be “normal” for them. p. s. Or maybe they like having their pictures taken and they know you’ll oblige? πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I was happy to see them πŸ™‚ It is a curiosity. Maybe they did want their photo taken. πŸ™‚

      There are quite a few berry bushes in the park. I have walked the paths to see where they are with the idea of checking them for birds later. There is also the collection of bird feeders behind the bird blind as well as the dried plants which have been left alone with their available seeds. If I was a bird, I would think it a nice place to settle in for the winter as long as there isn’t too much snow. Since I have lived here, the winters have varied considerably in both cold and snow. A few were very snowy and others had little snow. They have all seemed cold, but then, I don’t manage the cold as well as the warmth so that could just be me. πŸ™‚ Weather permitting, I am going to walk around the park throughout the winter to see what is happening. I am not a fan of driving in the snow, though. If it gets really snowy, then I will be walking around the block here watching the neighborhood birds.

      • zirah1 says:

        HA! I’m with you as far as not managing the cold well and not liking to drive in snow. When we had about 8 in of snow recently I went walking thru the neighborhood while it was still coming down and it was really peaceful….no traffic or hub-bub going on.

        • Sarah says:

          The snow is peaceful and pretty. πŸ™‚ I am happy to see it as long as I don’t need to drive in it. I don’t feel like my car has enough traction on slippery surfaces and the other cars drive too fast for the road conditions. Getting my car through the winter without it being scrunched is a higher priority than visiting the park as much as I like to go there. I enjoy watching the birds around here as well although there don’t seem to be as wide a variety. When it gets really snowy, I put bird seed by the marsh area in the park next door for the song sparrows and, their winter friends, the American tree sparrows. There hasn’t been any measurable snow fall here yet only a few flurries.

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    The female bluebird looks very interested in making sure you got her good side.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! The adult female bluebird did pick a branch to perch on which was free of distractions. πŸ™‚ The little one on the first day was tucked way up in the shadows. I didn’t realize she was a young one until I looked at the photos later. It is her first winter. I wonder what she thinks of the cold.

  3. Hi Sarah lovely creatures and such beautiful birds you’ve photographed to share with us! They are so bright and cheery… great friends, right, Sarah? Here’s also wishing you a Joyous and Merry Christmas and the very best for the New Year 2018. Love, Iris πŸ•Š 🌲 ⭐

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Iris πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness and happy wishes! The bluebirds join me in wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! πŸ™‚ I do feel cheerful every time I see the bluebirds. This is true of all of the little songbirds, actually. I don’t want to leave any of them out. πŸ™‚ They all have their own personalities. I could watch them all day and not be tired. πŸ™‚

      • Yes, and I think they are so happy to have a friend like you to spend time to be with them, Sarah! πŸ˜ƒ How wonderful you are, such a nature lover… have fun and thanks for stopping by to read my poems, I do appreciate that very much. Have a nice day! Keep warm and happy photography! πŸ“· 🐀

  4. kp says:

    Such delicate birds :-). I hope they feel like a long stay. Wishing you a good winter’s break and time to spend with them. Kathy

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Kathy πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness and happy wishes! They are very pretty birds πŸ™‚ I think of them as summer birds since until last January, I had only seen them in the spring, summer, and early fall. They look too small to survive the cold. I think this about all of the little songbirds when I see them. Somehow they manage by fluffing their feathers, eating a lot, moving around, and huddling in bushes against the wind. It can be really windy and cold here in the winter. If they are going to pick a wintering spot, the park is a good one with stocked bird feeders and many berry bushes in the woods. I walked the paths to see where the berry bushes were located and hope to go back during the winter to check on and admire the birds.

      I hope you have a wonderful winter’s break as well! πŸ™‚ I checked yesterday and the winter’s solstice was at 10:28 am here. Today, the daylight will be around just a bit longer than it was yesterday. A Happy Thought! πŸ™‚

  5. Jet Eliot says:

    What a glorious visit you received from the bluebirds, Sarah, and your photos are stunning.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Jet πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! It was a special event to see the bluebirds. πŸ™‚ Weather (and cold weather courage) permitting, I am going to go to the park tomorrow morning to watch the sunrise and see who is around. Maybe I will be lucky and see the bluebirds again. πŸ™‚

  6. birdlady612 says:

    Bluebirds are so pretty. I have yet to attract any to my yard. πŸ™‹πŸ¦

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! The bluebirds are very pretty birds. πŸ™‚ I hope they find your yard soon. You have created an exceptionally bird friendly space! πŸ™‚

      • birdlady612 says:

        Thank you.. with all of the new critters we have had this year, it will take some extra planning on the gardens this spring.

  7. Interesting and think there are going to be different patterns emerging as these birds respond to the weather and where there might be good food resources. They look quite red, more like our robins but think I can see some hints of blue. So good that you can share these different birds with us all.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I love seeing the bluebirds. πŸ™‚ I am hoping to go out to the park later this week to check on the birds and see if the bluebirds are still around. It is a pretty big park and they have the advantage of flight so even if they are there, I might not see them. The male eastern bluebird has very blue feathers on his back and wings and a deep rusty red front. The female’s feathers are a muted version of the males.

  8. stbarbebaker says:

    Lovely imagea, what a treat to have the Bluebirds sticking around and not migrating.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you liked seeing the bluebirds. πŸ™‚ It is a treat for me to see bluebirds and I get excited every time I am lucky enough to be where they are. πŸ™‚ I have been wondering how they are doing and whether they have stayed at the park all winter. It has been too cold so far this winter to take trips to the park. I tried to go on Christmas morning, but I didn’t last long. I plan to visit sometime in the next couple of weeks when it should be a little warmer.

  9. stbarbebaker says:

    Very cute and adorable. Quite the sighting for beyond their normal range

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