This spring I discovered a new (to me) type of bird in my yard. It is the Eastern Bluebird. At first I was mistaken and thought I was lucky enough to see a Painted Bunting, but this little bluebird is just as much of a treat. A little flock of them have been working hard around my front yard and the 5 yards surrounding mine for about a month.
Male Eastern Bluebird, Photo credit Cornell Lab of Ornithology website
It is fun to see them bounce between the ground and my bottlebrush trees, hibiscus bushes, yearling orange trees, and the crepe myrtle and live and water oaks in the surrounding yards. They also like the power lines, but revealing that fact doesn’t paint quite as pretty of an image. I believe the oaks are where they are making nests.
I learned that these bluebirds will use old woodpecker holes as nesting sites which make so much sense now because there has been so much woodpecker activity in those oak trees lately! I love those web and system connections!
Female Eastern Bluebird, Photo credit Cornell Lab of Ornithology website
They are considered ground foragers because they pounce on insects on the ground and eat them. I guess there must be a lot of bugs in my grass-thank you bluebirds for staying on top of that! They also eat wild fruit so that could explain their interest in my small orange trees. They may be eating the tiny oranges off the trees.
In spanish they are called Azulejo garganta canela. I like the sound of that name. My rudimentary direct translation is big blue cinnamon, which is so descriptive of the coloring, but please someone correct me if that is wrong
Photo credit, birdzilla.com
I didn’t used to really pay much attention to birds, but the more I do, the more I notice and the more interesting and fun it becomes! I am able to identify many songbirds now and look forward to seeing them come and go. You can create a chart and post it on a window at home or in the classroom (preferably at child height) and have the children observe, track, and then research the different types of songbirds they discover. This is a great way to get connected to nearby nature. Then, the children can decide what they should plant or build to attract different types of birds to their yard.
Seeds to Sprout:
Learn more about Eastern Bluebirds and the birds in your yard at All About Birds, Cornell University’s site.
Learn how to make your yard the best it can be for nesting at Bird Notes a downloadable PDF from Cornell also.
Bird specific birdhouse building plans