Entries to Win Afghan

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Does This Bird Have a Brain?


bird in apple tree

OK, I've mentioned this bird and/or mate at least twice in the past few weeks. These are terrible pictures, but they do show that I am really seeing what I thought I was seeing. I had to take the telephoto all the way to the end of its extension. Have you located the little fluff-ball in the apple tree? Let's zoom in.

bluebirdIt really is a bluebird, a female I'm pretty sure. The male was with her at first, but he flew away too quickly for me to catch any pictures. I checked the bird maps. The Christmas bird count in our area has recorded one bluebird counted still here that late. It almost looks as if this pair plans to stay.

bluebirdI looked up what they eat in the winter, and sumac or honeysuckle berries, and wild grape, are listed as important food sources. Well, we have those in abundance. But not a lot of the other choices given. And there isn't any nice sheltered cedar grove nearby. The best shelter might be the cemetery ravine or the river flood plain. But the river is a mile away. I think these birds must be staying somewhere closer since I see them so often.


Finally, just one more lousy photo. I love having my little friends nearby, but I hope they haven't made a bad choice. Sadly, as I was reading about their winter habits, I also learned that they seldom live more than 3-4 years.

See My Bluebird of Happiness
See The Happiness of the Bluebird
See Christmas Count and Breeding Bird Survey Maps for the Eastern Bluebird
See Landscaping for Bluebirds


RNSANE said...

Goodness, won't it be a really cold winter for them? Will you put out treats to help them along? Great shots, though. You'll have to give up updates!

Glynis Peters said...

Love the bird pics, they are bird-brained! Your Thanksgiving feast looked good too :)

VanillaSeven said...

Love the apple tree! No leaves but just apples! Poor thing for the bird that can't find shelter

Ann said...

Your photos make me want to go out and do some bird hunting (with the camera of course) How sad that they have such a sort life span

Secondary Roads said...

We've had bluebirds stay the winter in our neighborhood. Doesn't happen every year, but it does happen.

WillOaks Studio said...

Wow, that's bitter sweet, isn't it? Maybe you can find some "high fat" food for them to help them keep warm? I know they go for grubs when they are raising their young, but I thought they wintered in nicer weather!

rainfield61 said...

They certainly have, and you have been attracted.

betchai said...

oh, i hope they find themselves a warm place Sharkbytes, and just enjoying the view from there once a while to give you company.

Sharkbytes said...

Carmen- Sadly, we had to stop feeding birds a couple of years ago because we can't afford it. It's even worse to start and get them used to the food and then stop, so we just don't put any out now.

Glynis- Nice to see you. Yes, I think the birdies need a southward nudge.

Vanilla- well, I thought the tree looked kinda cool too, but it wasn't the point of the post.

Ann- Hopefully, I'll be able to get some good winter bird pix. Hope you do too!

Chuck, yes, you are just a little farther south from me.

Karen- Well, they are supposed to go south!

rainfield- I just love those little blue fluffies!

Hi Betchai- nice to see you! If I figure out where they are holing up, I'll be sure to share.

Rick (Ratty) said...

Bluebirds are another one that I'm still learning to identify. I'm happy to discover that your picture looks like the bird I've been trying to memorize. I guess I'm getting better. Hopefully I'll be able to identify the first one I get to see. Birds are rough for me because my camera isn't always up to getting good pictures of them, so I don't usually get a good look.

Anonymous said...

The apple tree is what bringing those birds back. It's hard for me to even snap a decent picture of bird.

Julia said...

That a bluebird has stayed for winter is amazing. Hopefully they have shelter in a big tree or bush. That would do for protection I'd think. Mine use the nest boxes to shelter in too during storms. Although the coldest it gets is maybe 17 degrees in a really really bad year. Mid winter is usually low 20's at worst.

They have to eat a lot of calories to survive your winter that is for sure.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- The blue back flashing in the sun is and almost sure giveaway, but they you have to look for red breast and white tummy. Indigo buntings are blue all over.

Icy- Well, I haven't seen them eating apples, but I found a web site that says they will if the skin is already broken. The deer are good at doing that!

Julia- Yeah, well, 17 below would be about right for a really bad winter here.