Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Bluebirds, just like crocuses and daffodils, are a true harbinger of spring. In many parts of the country, that unmistakable flash of bright blue as the birds busily begin setting up house for the season is like spring’s own calling card saying, “Here I am!”
While it is not uncommon for bluebirds to overwinter in larger flocks or family groups, we notice them most when they start pairing off and nesting in February and March. The male bluebird – the more brilliantly colored of the sexes – will select what he thinks is an ideal nest site for his indigo lady love. If she agrees, then bluebird home life becomes a flurry of activity. When mating and nesting season begins, we can’t help but spy their bursts of color as they flit from perch to perch, collecting nesting materials first and then food for hatchlings later.
From spring to fall, bluebirds are busy and visible indeed, because the average mating pair will raise at least two and possibly three broods of babies. One of the endearing things about bluebirds is that they will often stay together in family groups — the young from earlier broods will commonly stay with their parents after they fledge, helping to feed and care for their younger siblings.
Bluebird “love” is a well-documented phenomenon.There are dozens, if not hundreds, of associations and organizations devoted to bluebird lore and preservation. Bluebirds themselves make appearances in old-time fairy tales and poems as well as in modern-day songs and films. For instance, Judy Garland sang about happy little bluebirds flying over the rainbow in The Wizard of Oz and wondered why she couldn’t join them, while Henry David Thoreau wrote of how their “soft warble melts the ear.” And who could forget the catchy Disney tune's lyrics that guaranteed us all a wonderful day simply because “Mr. Bluebird’s on my shoulder”?
Dan Sparks, a board member of the North American Bluebird Society thinks people delight in bluebirds so much simply because they are so likable. “They’re just a happy, sociable bird,” says Sparks. “They’ve got a real cheerful nature, a ‘bubbly’ song, and they seem to like to be around people.”
Bluebirds have also been linked to luck, as well as happiness, perhaps largely because of their long tradition of helping farmers. In the centuries before pesticides, many farmers, and even Native Americans before them, would tie up nest boxes made of wood or hollowed out gourds in areas where they wanted bluebirds to set up house. Bluebirds were welcomed because of all the insects they ate.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Whale-watching crews spotted the fourth
baby killer whale of the season in the
waters off Washington State.
It’s a scary thing to think about, but here’s
what you can do to prepare for choking,
seizures or other common…
You're not a bad pet owner if your dog
doesn't know sit, down or come. But
these commands can be really helpful.
Being overweight raises your feline’s risk
of serious problems like joint injuries,
diabetes and surgical…
Before you buy chicks or ducklings for
your kids' Easter baskets, make sure you
know what you're getting yourself…
Want to find out how well your cat or dog is digesting his food? Well, our vet says the proof is in your pet's poop.
The active and playful Devon Rex’s high cheekbones and slender build make her look like a top feline model.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.