My friend Brad M. hung up the daily grind at the same time I did. He mentioned he was beginning to forget what day of the week it was. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but very close – one thing for sure, I am adapting faster than I thought would happen. Getting stuff checked off my to-do list at a record pace and once the holiday decorating is completed (looks like Hallmark threw up in our living room which is complete with a >12 foot Xmas tree hehehe), I can start researching target birds for our upcoming trip. With that said, I did notice one thing that seemed different – clipped a root and took a nasty impact running the trails the other day. Typically I bounce like Tigger and carry on. I had to collect myself for a minute this time, remember where/who I was and topped it off with a nice bruise after the run. Not liking that aspect at all! On a happier note, I mentioned what a wonderful send-off I had and the video they had made for me. After several attempts to upload to our gallery and help from Ron who converted the video for me (only to have Smugmug convert it back ugh), I finally got it rendered correctly. Thought I would share it with you – absolutely love it – on the other hand, Linda is getting tired of me playing it all the time hehehe.
Guessing you are really here to see wildlife! During the last post I mentioned the House Wren has a tendency to take over bird houses intended for our local Eastern Bluebirds. I try not to play favorites too much beyond my well documented dislike for the Brown-Headed Asshats (link here) and those damn Blue Jays. Whoever gets there first and able to defend it wins the house in my book. Except the Wrens need to start putting down a deposit if they take over my replacement birdhouse as they have proven to be lacking on the upkeep responsibilities.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of our colorful backyard bird.
As somewhat of a sequel from the last post, thought I would feature said Eastern Bluebird. Not a new bird to the list as it has been featured several times on the blog (link here and here for starters). Compared to the Wrens, the male Bluebirds are an explosion of color. Not as brilliant a blue as say the Mountain Bluebird (link here), but will give an Indigo Bunting (link here) a run for the money. Add in the rust band from the neck to the upper breast and down the sides followed by a burst of white and you have yourself the Neapolitan ice cream of the birding world. To think I could have looked at them out my back window every day had that Wren not pestered them away.
The Eastern Bluebird is aptly named as it is primarily resident in the eastern half of the US with some scattering and migrations into Canada and down into Central America. Its range is actually a bit more than half as it pushes into Colorado/Wyoming – wonder if the ABA would consider renaming it to Easternish Bluebird or maybe Notsowestern Bluebird. You know me, I like those names to be easily associated. This Bluebird is member of the Thrush family. We tend to see far more of the other easily recognized Thrush, the American Robin. Assuredly due to the emphasis/time the local conservationists have invested in helping the Bluebirds, their numbers seem to be steadily increasing. Their diet consists of insects and fruit/berries. Typical to see them with grasshoppers or crickets perched outside their nest boxes – almost as a boast of their hunting skills or possibly a demoralizing show of force to the other insects in the area.
The female (pictured above) has more of a subdued coloring, but still sports the primary blues, rust and whites of the males. She does not have the strong layering of the male rather a blending. Still a pretty bird. Even the juvenile looks intriguing as it will display white speckling on the upper back and around through the breast area. Managed to tin one of those a few years back and can be seen at the bottom of the previously referenced post (link here). Out of pictures for this series, so better make it a wrap. Just noticed I forgot to mention when and where these specimens were found. They were tinned back in April of 2017 while birding Chain O’ Lakes State Park near Spring Grove IL. Take it easy everyone, looks like Warp Speed will be bringing a vaccine for the US in record time. If that continues to play out as anticipated, there just might be an end to this pandemic crap in the not too distant future. Now time to go slay me some nasty Dragons!