Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed.

Running over to the Old Orchard very early in the morning for a little gossip with Jenny Wren and his other friends there had become a regular thing with Peter Rabbit. He was learning a great many things, and some of them were most surprising.

Now two of Peter’s oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard were Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin. Every spring they arrived pretty nearly together, though Winsome Bluebird usually was a few days ahead of Welcome Robin. This year Winsome had arrived while the snow still lingered in patches. He was, as he always is, the herald of sweet Mistress Spring. And when Peter had heard for the first time Winsome’s soft, sweet whistle, which seemed to come from nowhere in particular and from everywhere in general, he had kicked up his long hind legs from pure joy. Then, when a few days later he had heard Welcome Robin’s joyous message of “Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer!” from the tiptop of a tall tree, he had known that Mistress Spring really had arrived.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Peter loves Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin, just as everybody else does, and he had known them so long and so well that he thought he knew all there was to know about them. He would have been very indignant had anybody told him he didn’t.

“Those cousins don’t look much alike, do they?” remarked Jenny Wren, as she poked her head out of her house to gossip with Peter.

“What cousins?” demanded Peter, staring very hard in the direction in which Jenny Wren was looking.

“Those two sitting on the fence over there. Where are your eyes, Peter?” replied Jenny rather sharply.

Peter stared harder than ever. On one post sat Winsome Bluebird, and on another post sat Welcome Robin. “I don’t see anybody but Winsome and Welcome, and they are not even related,” replied Peter with a little puzzled frown.

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! Who told you any such nonsense as that? Of course they are related. They are cousins. I thought everybody knew that. They belong to the same family that Melody the Thrush and all the other Thrushes belong to. That makes them all cousins.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, looking as if he didn’t believe a word of what Jenny Wren had said. Jenny repeated, and still Peter looked doubtful.

Then Jenny lost her temper, a thing she does very easily. “If you don’t believe me, go ask one of them,” she snapped, and disappeared inside her house, where Peter could hear her scolding away to herself.

The more he thought of it, the more this struck Peter as good advice. So he hopped over to the foot of the fence post on which Winsome Bluebird was sitting. “Jenny Wren says that you and Welcome Robin are cousins. She doesn’t know what she is talking about, does she?” asked Peter.

Winsome chuckled. It was a soft, gentle chuckle. “Yes,” said he, nodding his head, “we are. You can trust that little busybody to know what she is talking about, every time. I sometimes think she knows more about other people’s affairs than about her own. Welcome and I may not look much alike, but we are cousins just the same. Don’t you think Welcome is looking unusually fine this spring?”

“Not a bit finer than you are yourself, Winsome,” replied Peter politely. “I just love that sky-blue coat of yours. What is the reason that Mrs. Bluebird doesn’t wear as bright a coat as you do?”

“Go ask Jenny Wren,” chuckled Winsome Bluebird, and before Peter could say another word he flew over to the roof of Farmer Brown’s house.

Back scampered Peter to tell Jenny Wren that he was sorry he had doubted her and that he never would again. Then he begged Jenny to tell him why it was that Mrs. Bluebird was not as brightly dressed as was Winsome.

“Mrs. Bluebird, like most mothers, is altogether too busy to spend much time taking care of her clothes; and fine clothes need a lot of care,” replied Jenny. “Besides, when Winsome is about he attracts all the attention and that gives her a chance to slip in and out of her nest without being noticed. I don’t believe you know, Peter Rabbit, where Winsome’s nest is.”

Peter had to admit that he didn’t, although he had tried his best to find out by watching Winsome. “I think it’s over in that little house put up by Farmer Brown’s boy,” he ventured. “I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird go in it when they first came, and I’ve seen Winsome around it a great deal since, so I guess it is there.”

“So you guess it is there!” mimicked Jenny Wren. “Well, your guess is quite wrong, Peter; quite wrong. As a matter of fact, it is in one of those old fence posts. But just which one I am not going to tell you. I will leave that for you to find out. Mrs. Bluebird certainly shows good sense. She knows a good house when she sees it. The hole in that post is one of the best holes anywhere around here. If I had arrived here early enough I would have taken it myself. But Mrs. Bluebird already had her nest built in it and four eggs there, so there was nothing for me to do but come here. Just between you and me, Peter, I think the Bluebirds show more sense in nest building than do their cousins the Robins. There is nothing like a house with stout walls and a doorway just big enough to get in and out of comfortably.”

Peter nodded quite as if he understood all about the advantages of a house with walls. “That reminds me,” said he. “The other day I saw Welcome Robin getting mud and carrying it away. Pretty soon he was joined by Mrs. Robin, and she did the same thing. They kept it up till I got tired of watching them. What were they doing with that mud?”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

“Building their nest, of course, stupid,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin, with that black head, beautiful russet breast, black and white throat and yellow bill, not to mention the proud way in which he carries himself, certainly is a handsome fellow, and Mrs. Robin is only a little less handsome. How they can be content to build the kind of home they do is more than I can understand. People think that Mr. Wren and I use a lot of trash in our nest. Perhaps we do, but I can tell you one thing, and that is it is clean trash. It is just sticks and clean straws, and before I lay my eggs I see to it that my nest is lined with feathers. More than this, there isn’t any cleaner housekeeper than I am, if I do say it.

“Welcome Robin is a fine looker and a fine singer, and everybody loves him. But when it comes to housekeeping, he and Mrs. Robin are just plain dirty. They make the foundation of their nest of mud,—plain, common, ordinary mud. They cover this with dead grass, and sometimes there is mighty little of this over the inside walls of mud. I know because I’ve seen the inside of their nest often. Anybody with any eyes at all can find their nest. More than once I’ve known them to have their nest washed away in a heavy rain, or have it blown down in a high wind. Nothing like that ever happens to Winsome Bluebird or to me.”

Jenny disappeared inside her house, and Peter waited for her to come out again. Welcome Robin flew down on the ground, ran a few steps, and then stood still with his head on one side as if listening. Then he reached down and tugged at something, and presently out of the ground came a long, wriggling angleworm. Welcome gulped it down and ran on a few steps, then once more paused to listen. This time he turned and ran three or four steps to the right, where he pulled another worm out of the ground.

“He acts as if he heard those worms in the ground,” said Peter, speaking aloud without thinking.

“He does,” said Jenny Wren, poking her head out of her doorway just as Peter spoke. “How do you suppose he would find them when they are in the ground if he didn’t hear them?”

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

“I’ve never tried, and I don’t intend to waste my time trying,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin may enjoy eating them, but for my part I want something smaller and daintier, young grasshoppers, tender young beetles, small caterpillars, bugs and spiders.”

Peter had to turn his head aside to hide the wry face he just had to make at the mention of such things as food. “Is that all Welcome Robin eats?” he asked innocently.

“I should say not,” laughed Jenny. “He eats a lot of other kinds of worms, and he just dearly loves fruit like strawberries and cherries and all sorts of small berries. Well, I can’t stop here talking any longer. I’m going to tell you a secret, Peter, if you’ll promise not to tell.”

Of course Peter promised, and Jenny leaned so far down that Peter wondered how she could keep from falling as she whispered, “I’ve got seven eggs in my nest, so if you don’t see much of me for the next week or more, you’ll know why. I’ve just got to sit on those eggs and keep them warm.”

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  1. What bird family do the Bluebird and Robin belong to?
  2. Why is it good that Mrs. Bluebird isn’t brightly dressed?
  3. When the Robin runs and then stops, what is he doing? What might he find to eat?
  4. What colors are the Robin’s head, breast, throat and bill?
  5. What does the Robin’s song sound like?
  6. Should we have an attitude like the Robin’s Song?

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. (James 5:13 NASB)

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13 NASB)

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Links:

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Links:

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter – An Old Friend In a New Home

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Wordless Toucan

  

 

  Wordless Toucan

 

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Rounded Up Some Bluebirds

Vol. 2 – 6 The Mountain Bluebird, which is from the Kid’s Section, had some Bluebirds skip out and break their links. They were too pretty to let them get away.

The Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited has some very interesting information about birds, but written from a young reader’s level. Here is the Mountain Bluebird reblogged with some added information and the Bluebirds back on their posts.

This was written back in 2013. Trust you enjoy this article and links to other Bluebird articles.

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.

imgi

N an early number of Birds we presented a picture of the common Bluebird, which has been much admired. The mountain Bluebird, whose beauty is thought to excel that of his cousin, is probably known to few of our readers who live east of the Rocky Mountain region, though he is a common winter sojourner in the western part of Kansas, beginning to arrive there the last of September, and leaving in March and April. The habits of these birds of the central regions are very similar to those of the eastern, but more wary and silent. Even their love song is said to be less loud and musical. It is a rather feeble, plaintive, monotonous warble, and their chirp and twittering notes are weak. They subsist upon the cedar berries, seeds of plants, grasshoppers, beetles, and the like, which they pick up largely upon the ground, and occasionally scratch for among the leaves. During the fall and winter they visit the plains and valleys, and are usually met with in small flocks, until the mating season.

Nests of the Mountain Bluebird have been found in New Mexico and Colorado, from the foothills to near timber line, usually in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities in trees, fissures in the sides of steep rocky cliffs, and, in the settlements, in suitable locations about and in the adobe buildings. In settled portions of the west it nests in the cornice of buildings, under the eaves of porches, in the nooks and corners of barns and outhouses, and in boxes provided for its occupation. Prof. Ridgway found the Rocky Mountain Bluebird nesting in Virginia City, Nevada, in June. The nests were composed almost entirely of dry grass. In some sections, however, the inner bark of the cedar enters largely into their composition. The eggs are usually five, of a pale greenish-blue.

The females of this species are distinguished by a greener blue color and longer wings, and this bird is often called the Arctic Bluebird. It is emphatically a bird of the mountains, its visits to the lower portions of the country being mainly during winter.

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits’ tread.
The Robin and the Wren are flown, and from the shrubs the Jay,
And from the wood-top calls the Crow all through the gloomy day.
—Bryant.

Summary:

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.Sialia arctica. Other names: “Rocky Mountain” and “Arctic Bluebird.”

Range—Rocky Mountain region, north to Great Slave Lake, south to Mexico, west to the higher mountain ranges along the Pacific.

Nest—Placed in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities of trees, nooks and corners of barns and outhouses; composed of dry grass.

Eggs—Commonly five, of pale, plain greenish blue.


Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

…In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? … If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. … For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
(Psalms 11:1,3,4,7 KJV)

The Mountain Bluebird belongs to the Turdidae – Thrushes Family and as such have Thrush characteristics. Since blue is my favorite color, the bluebirds are some of my favorites. The Lord has used such variety in His coloration, that I am happy that blue was one of them. We have also the Eastern and Western Bluebirds plus the Asian and Philippine Fairy-bluebirds.

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a medium-sized bird weighing about 1.1 ounces (30 g) with a length from 6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm). They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills that are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter beneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast, grey crown, throat and back. In fresh fall plumage, the female’s throat and breast are tinged with red-orange; brownish near the flank contrasting with white tail underparts. Call is a thin few; Song is warbled high chur chur.

The mountain bluebird is migratory. Their range varies from Mexico in the winter to as far north as Alaska, throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. Some birds may move to lower elevations in winter. They inhabit open rangelands, meadows, generally at elevations above 5,000 feet. Contrary to popular belief, mountain bluebirds are not a species of concern in the United States. The turn around in mountain bluebird numbers is due to the overwhelming efforts of landowners in the West to provide nest boxes for these birds. At one time, mountain bluebird numbers were threatened because of increased agricultural activities destroying habitats.

These birds hover over the ground and fly down to catch insects, also flying from a perch to catch them. They mainly eat insects, over 90%, and berries. They may forage in flocks in winter, when they mainly eat grasshoppers. Mountain bluebirds will come to a platform feeder with live meal worms, berries, or peanuts.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Their breeding habitat is open country across western North America, including mountain areas, as far north as Alaska. They nest in pre-existing cavities or in nest boxes. In remote areas, these birds are less affected by competition for natural nesting locations than other bluebirds. Mountain bluebirds are a monogamous breed. The male can be seen singing from bare branches. The singing takes place right at dawn, just when the sun rises. Females usually build the nests themselves. Eggs: pale blue and unmarked, sometimes white. Clutch Size: 4-5 eggs. Young are naked and helpless at hatching and may have some down. Incubation normally last 14 days and the young will take about 21 days before they leave the nest. Both males and females fiercely protect the nest.

It is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

Mountain bluebirds are cavity nesters and can become very partial to a nest box, especially if they have successfully raised a clutch. They may even re-use the same nest, though not always. Providing nest boxes is a great way to observe these beautiful birds. Mountain bluebirds will not abandon a nest if human activity is detected close by or at the nest. Because of this, mountain bluebirds can be easily banded while they are still in the nest.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The English Sparrow

The Previous Article – The Ornithological Congress

Gospel Presentation

Links:

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Logan, Morgan, and Their Historical Nest

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) ©WikiC

Logan, Morgan, and Their Historical Nest ~ by Emma Foster

It was 1769 when a distinguished man came to a small plain with a few trees on a mountain and began building a house. In one of the trees, two bluebirds watched as the man oversaw the building of his house. This house was big and built with stone masons who were people who built and cut stone.

The house had white stone pillars and large stone steps in front of a long backyard. Farther down the hill was the plantation where the slaves worked.

The house would not be competed for a long time, and while it was being built, Logan and Morgan decided they would build their nest just like the house was being built.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Eggs ©WikiC

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Eggs ©WikiC

Logan and Morgan started looking for long, thick sticks to stack together. They started building their nest in one of the trees near the slave’s kitchen. However, this was difficult because of how hard it was to keep the sticks standing straight up in the branches. Logan and Morgan took turns holding the sticks with their beaks while the other looked for more sticks.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eventually, Logan and Morgan finally completed their nest. It wasn’t as grand as the house that was still being built, but the two bluebirds decided that the nest was perfect.

They raised their children in that nest and their children raised their children, until long after the house, called Monticello, was completed.

Montecello. House of Thomas Jefferson

Montecello. House of Thomas Jefferson

Eventually the distinguished man who had built the house died, but Logan and Morgan’s children and grandchildren still lived there. And every year hundreds of people would come to take a tour of that house because it belonged to one of the Presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Of course, Logan and Morgan never knew that fact.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32 KJV)

Emma has now produced her first historical birdwatching tale. Thanks, Emma. Our young writer just turned 16 recently and has grown quite tall (5’11”) like her parents. We used to compare heights when she was shorter than me (4’10”), but now I have to look up at her. Not only has her height increased, but also her writing ability.

As a side note, her family visited Monticello this summer and actually watched some Eastern Bluebirds for some time in the trees there.

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Other stories by Emma Foster

Eastern Bluebird – Wikipedia

Wordless Birds

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Vol 2, #6 – The Mountain Bluebird

 

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.

imgi

N an early number of Birds we presented a picture of the common Bluebird, which has been much admired. The mountain Bluebird, whose beauty is thought to excel that of his cousin, is probably known to few of our readers who live east of the Rocky Mountain region, though he is a common winter sojourner in the western part of Kansas, beginning to arrive there the last of September, and leaving in March and April. The habits of these birds of the central regions are very similar to those of the eastern, but more wary and silent. Even their love song is said to be less loud and musical. It is a rather feeble, plaintive, monotonous warble, and their chirp and twittering notes are weak. They subsist upon the cedar berries, seeds of plants, grasshoppers, beetles, and the like, which they pick up largely upon the ground, and occasionally scratch for among the leaves. During the fall and winter they visit the plains and valleys, and are usually met with in small flocks, until the mating season.

Nests of the Mountain Bluebird have been found in New Mexico and Colorado, from the foothills to near timber line, usually in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities in trees, fissures in the sides of steep rocky cliffs, and, in the settlements, in suitable locations about and in the adobe buildings. In settled portions of the west it nests in the cornice of buildings, under the eaves of porches, in the nooks and corners of barns and outhouses, and in boxes provided for its occupation. Prof. Ridgway found the Rocky Mountain Bluebird nesting in Virginia City, Nevada, in June. The nests were composed almost entirely of dry grass. In some sections, however, the inner bark of the cedar enters largely into their composition. The eggs are usually five, of a pale greenish-blue.

The females of this species are distinguished by a greener blue color and longer wings, and this bird is often called the Arctic Bluebird. It is emphatically a bird of the mountains, its visits to the lower portions of the country being mainly during winter.

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits’ tread.
The Robin and the Wren are flown, and from the shrubs the Jay,
And from the wood-top calls the Crow all through the gloomy day.
—Bryant.

Summary:

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.Sialia arctica. Other names: “Rocky Mountain” and “Arctic Bluebird.”

Range—Rocky Mountain region, north to Great Slave Lake, south to Mexico, west to the higher mountain ranges along the Pacific.

Nest—Placed in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities of trees, nooks and corners of barns and outhouses; composed of dry grass.

Eggs—Commonly five, of pale, plain greenish blue.


Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

…In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? … If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. … For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
(Psalms 11:1,3,4,7 KJV)

The Mountain Bluebird belongs to the Turdidae – Thrushes Family and as such have Thrush characteristics. Since blue is my favorite color, the bluebirds are some of my favorites. The Lord has used such variety in His coloration, that I am happy that blue was one of them. We have also the Eastern and Western Bluebirds plus the Asian and Philippine Fairy-bluebirds.

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a medium-sized bird weighing about 1.1 ounces (30 g) with a length from 6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm). They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills that are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter beneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast, grey crown, throat and back. In fresh fall plumage, the female’s throat and breast are tinged with red-orange; brownish near the flank contrasting with white tail underparts. Call is a thin few; Song is warbled high chur chur.

The mountain bluebird is migratory. Their range varies from Mexico in the winter to as far north as Alaska, throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. Some birds may move to lower elevations in winter. They inhabit open rangelands, meadows, generally at elevations above 5,000 feet. Contrary to popular belief, mountain bluebirds are not a species of concern in the United States. The turn around in mountain bluebird numbers is due to the overwhelming efforts of landowners in the West to provide nest boxes for these birds. At one time, mountain bluebird numbers were threatened because of increased agricultural activities destroying habitats.

These birds hover over the ground and fly down to catch insects, also flying from a perch to catch them. They mainly eat insects, over 90%, and berries. They may forage in flocks in winter, when they mainly eat grasshoppers. Mountain bluebirds will come to a platform feeder with live meal worms, berries, or peanuts.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Their breeding habitat is open country across western North America, including mountain areas, as far north as Alaska. They nest in pre-existing cavities or in nest boxes. In remote areas, these birds are less affected by competition for natural nesting locations than other bluebirds. Mountain bluebirds are a monogamous breed. The male can be seen singing from bare branches. The singing takes place right at dawn, just when the sun rises. Females usually build the nests themselves. Eggs: pale blue and unmarked, sometimes white. Clutch Size: 4-5 eggs. Young are naked and helpless at hatching and may have some down. Incubation normally last 14 days and the young will take about 21 days before they leave the nest. Both males and females fiercely protect the nest.

It is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

Mountain bluebirds are cavity nesters and can become very partial to a nest box, especially if they have successfully raised a clutch. They may even re-use the same nest, though not always. Providing nest boxes is a great way to observe these beautiful birds. Mountain bluebirds will not abandon a nest if human activity is detected close by or at the nest. Because of this, mountain bluebirds can be easily banded while they are still in the nest.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The English Sparrow

The Previous Article – The Ornithological Congress

Gospel Presentation

Links:

*

Birds Vol 1 #3 – Little Boy Blue

Bluebird - Little Boy Blue

Bluebird – Little Boy Blue

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. March, 1897 No. 3

LITTLE BOY BLUE – THE BLUE BIRD

Boys and girls, don’t you think that is a pretty name? I came from the warm south, where I went last winter, to tell you that Springtime is nearly here.

When I sing, the buds and flowers and grass all begin to whisper to one another, “Springtime is coming for we heard the Bluebird say so,” and then they peep out to see the warm sunshine. I perch beside them and tell them of my long journey from the south and how I knew just when to tell them to come out of their warm winter cradles. I am of the same blue color as the violet that shows her pretty face when I sing, “Summer is coming, and Springtime is here.”

I do not like the cities for they are black and noisy and full of those troublesome birds called English Sparrows. I take my pretty mate and out in the beautiful country we find a home. We build a nest of twigs, grass and hair, in a box that the farmer puts up for us near his barn.

Sometimes we build in a hole in some old tree and soon there are tiny eggs in the nest. I sing to my mate and to the good people who own the barn. I heard the farmer say one day, “Isn’t it nice to hear the Bluebird sing? He must be very happy.” And I am, too, for by this time there are four or five little ones in the nest.

Little Bluebirds are like little boys—they are always hungry. We work hard to find enough for them to eat. We feed them nice fat worms and bugs, and when their little wings are strong enough, we teach them how to fly. Soon they are large enough to hunt their own food, and can take care of themselves.

The summer passes, and when we feel the breath of winter we go south again, for we do not like the cold.


THE BLUE BIRD.

I know the song that the Bluebird is singing
Out in the apple tree, where he is swinging.
Brave little fellow! the skies may be dreary,
Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat,
Hark! was there ever so merry a note?

Listen a while, and you’ll hear what he’s saying,
Up in the apple tree swinging and swaying.
“Dear little blossoms down under the snow,
You must be weary of winter, I know;
Hark! while I sing you a message of cheer,
Summer is coming, and springtime is here!”

“Dear little snow-drop! I pray you arise;
Bright yellow crocus! come open your eyes;
Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,
Put on our mantles of purple and gold;
Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear,
Summer is coming! and springtime is here!”

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton


THE BLUE BIRD.

Winged lute that we call a blue bird,
You blend in a silver strain
The sound of the laughing waters,
The patter of spring’s sweet rain,
The voice of the wind, the sunshine,
And fragrance of blossoming things,
Ah! you are a poem of April
That God endowed with wings.E. E. R.

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imgl

IKE a bit of sky this little harbinger of spring appears, as we see him and his mate househunting in early March. Oftentimes he makes his appearance as early as the middle of February, when his attractive note is heard long before he himself is seen. He is one of the last to leave us, and although the month of November is usually chosen by him as the fitting time for departure to a milder clime, his plaintive note is quite commonly heard on pleasant days throughout the winter season, and a few of the braver and hardier ones never entirely desert us. The Robin and the Blue Bird are tenderly associated in the memories of most persons whose childhood was passed on a farm or in the country village. Before the advent of the English Sparrow, the Blue Bird was sure to be the first to occupy and the last to defend the little box prepared for his return, appearing in his blue jacket somewhat in advance of the plainly habited female, who on her arrival quite often found a habitation selected and ready for her acceptance, should he find favor in her sight. And then he becomes a most devoted husband and father, sitting by the nest and warbling with earnest affection his exquisite tune, and occasionally flying away in search of food for his mate and nestlings.

The Blue Bird rears two broods in the season, and, should the weather be mild, even three. His nest contains three eggs.

In the spring and summer when he is happy and gay, his song is extremely soft and agreeable, while it grows very mournful and plaintive as cold weather approaches. He is mild of temper, and a peaceable and harmless neighbor, setting a fine example of amiability to his feathered friends. In the early spring, however, he wages war against robins, wrens, swallows, and other birds whose habitations are of a kind to take his fancy. A celebrated naturalist says: “This bird seems incapable of uttering a harsh note, or of doing a spiteful, ill-tempered thing.”

Nearly everybody has his anecdote to tell of the Blue Bird’s courage, but the author of “Wake Robin” tells his exquisitely thus: “A few years ago I put up a little bird house in the back end of my garden for the accommodation of the wrens, and every season a pair have taken up their abode there. One spring a pair of Blue Birds looked into the tenement, and lingered about several days, leading me to hope that they would conclude to occupy it. But they finally went away. Late in the season the wrens appeared, and after a little coquetting, were regularly installed in their old quarters, and were as happy as only wrens can be. But before their honeymoon was over, the Blue Birds returned. I knew something was wrong before I was up in the morning. Instead of that voluble and gushing song outside the window, I heard the wrens scolding and crying out at a fearful rate, and on going out saw the Blue Birds in possession of the box. The poor wrens were in despair and were forced to look for other quarters.”

THE BLUE BIRD.

“Drifting down the first warm wind
That thrills the earliest days of spring,
The Bluebird seeks our maple groves
And charms them into tasselling.”

“He sings, and his is Nature’s voice—
A gush of melody sincere
From that great fount of harmony
Which thaws and runs when Spring is here.”

“Short is his song, but strangely sweet
To ears aweary of the low
Dull tramps of Winter’s sullen feet,
Sandalled in ice and muffled in snow.”
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“Think, every morning, when the sun peeps through
The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old, melodious madrigals of love!
And when you think of this, remember, too,
’Tis always morning somewhere, and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore.

“Think of your woods and orchards without birds!
Of empty nests that cling to boughs and beams
As in an idiot’s brain remembered words
Hang empty ’mid the cobwebs of his dreams!
Will bleat of flocks or bellowing of herds
Make up for the lost music, when your teams
Drag home the stingy harvest, and no more
The feathered gleaners follow to your door?”
From “The Birds of Killingsworth.”

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix


Lee’s Addition:

And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. (Exodus 39:22 KJV)

Another delightful story from the past. Who doesn’t like Bluebirds?

The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Sialia of the thrush family (Turdidae – Thrushes). Bluebirds are one of the few thrush genera in the Americas. They have blue, or blue and red, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males, although color patterns are similar and there is no noticeable difference in size between sexes.
Species:

  • Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis
  • Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  • Mountain Bluebird, Sialia currucoides
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) juvenile by Quy Tran

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) juvenile by Quy Tran

Bluebirds are territorial, prefer open grassland with scattered trees and are cavity nesters (similar to many species of woodpecker). Bluebirds can typically produce between two and four broods during the spring and summer (March through August in the Northeastern United States). Males identify potential nest sites and try to attract prospective female mates to those nesting sites with special behaviors that include singing and flapping wings, and then placing some material in a nesting box or cavity. If the female accepts the male and the nesting site, she alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs.

Bluebirds are attracted to platform bird feeders, filled with grubs of the darkling beetle, sold by many online bird product wholesalers as mealworms. Bluebirds will also eat raisins soaked in water. In addition, in winter bluebirds use backyard heated birdbaths. Of all the birds a gardener could choose to attract, the bluebird is the quintessential helpful garden bird. Gardeners go to extreme lengths to attract and keep them in the garden for their beneficial properties. Bluebirds are voracious insect consumers, quickly ridding a garden of insect pests.

By the 1970s, bluebird numbers had declined by estimates ranging to 70% due to unsuccessful competition with house sparrows and starlings, both introduced species, for nesting cavities, coupled with a decline in habitat. However, in late 2005 Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology reported bluebird sightings across the southern U.S. as part of its yearly Backyard Bird Count, a strong indication of the bluebird’s return to the region. This upsurge can largely be attributed to a movement of volunteers establishing and maintaining bluebird trails.

While traveling full-time in our RV, one of our volunteer jobs was to clean the Bluebird houses of the “Trail” at the Avon Park Air Force Range in Avon Park, FL. There were 100 houses over a 78 mile distance. They were about 1/2 mile or so apart. Needless to say, it wasn’t done in one day. That year the Bluebirds had produced about 468 Bluebirds in those boxes. We were able to watch the Eastern Bluebirds quite frequently.

There are a few other “Bluebirds” around the world like the Asian Fairy-bluebird, Philippine Fairy-bluebird are in the Irenidae – Fairy-bluebird Family.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 March 1897 No 3 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for March 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Swallow

Previous Article – American Red Bird (Cardinal)

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Bluebird – Wikipedia

FAIRY-BLUEBIRDS Irenidae

The Mountain Bluebird – The Zealous Bridegroom.. by ajmithra

Turdidae – Thrushes

Mountain Bluebirds – Vol 2, #6

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