Eastern Bluebirds

Flying, eating, feeding

I remember many years ago, before I was interested in photographing birds, seeing a flash of amazing blue fly right past me. It was startling and thrilling! I kept my eyes out for another but it was a couple of years before I finally saw one again. Now, wherever I go this spring, I see these lovely birds, mostly busy feeding their young ones. Putting up houses for them in the fields, although they are often usurped by swallows, has clearly helped rebuild the population.

My first ones of the season, back in April. I was riding on the bike trail and one of them almost flew right into me.

The females are a bit scruffy looking, with just a hint of blue around the edges while the male has that striking blue across his entire back.

At the Arcadia Audubon site, while most of the birds are busy eating the mulberries this month, the bluebirds are busy with the bugs in the grass, and sometimes the grass itself. They are not above eating the berries as well, of course.

There is a nest under the pagoda at the Silvio Conte Conservation Area which has been ideal for practicing flight photography skills as well as getting a close look at the bluebirds’ menu. They are definitely omnivores!

It was also easy to get nice portraits of them, given the proximity. The last picture in this group gives a sense of perspective on this little guy!

The next day the sun came out which helped a lot with getting less grainy shots!

From Silvio Conte I went over to Arcadia to see what was up and it was, again, Bluebirds!! Over here the birds were farther along and the parents were busy feeding babies – here, there, and everywhere – and presumably teaching them how to fend for themselves.

Here is a little family altogether with the baby at the bottom, as hungry as ever.

A few minutes later the dad seemed to be calling the baby who obediently flew to the railing where the father was sitting. Dad hopped to (literally,) going down to the grass time and again to pick out yummy bugs for the little guy! These are consecutive pictures taken over just a couple of minutes.

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