In the five years we've lived here, I've only seen Western Bluebirds sporadically in the late winter/early spring months, usually perched on the fence around the neighbor's corral. This year is different though, as there seems to be an uptick in the Bluebird population here on our property. I've been keeping a bird list for the property and have sighted 60 species to date. Many are common (both year-round residents and returning migrants), while a few are one-timers, or rarely seen. In the Spring of 2007, there was a really bizarre but fantastic occurrence when dozens of Lazuli Buntings were descending on and around our bird feeders every single day for about a month. Since then? Not so much...
4/17/07 Lazuli Buntings (Passerina amoena) under one of the bird feeders (not a good shot as lighting was bad, but you get the picture). At times, there would be a couple dozen of these guys in a feeding frenzy with White-crowned sparrows, California Thrashers, House Finches, Black-headed Grosbeaks, etc. While Gil was having "Alfred Hitchcockesque" nightmares, I was in birder's heaven!
And now, I think this year will be the year of the Bluebird!
3/17/11 A male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana), checking out a bird house along our fenceline. I installed this bird house almost 2 years ago but none of our avian visitors (even the ubiquitous house wrens) were remotely interested. That is, until now.
3/17/11 Thought this was kind of a funny-looking shot. Looks more like levitating than flying.
3/17/11 Here's the little lady checking out the potential digs.
3/18/11 This morning, the pair came back to visit the amenities around the bird house. Here's Mr. Bluebird inspecting the jacuzzi.
And here's the Mrs., with her 2 cents.
3/18/11 Perched on rebar.
What a cutie. I also put out some dried meal worms (from Armstrong Nursery) in a makeshift feeder nearby, hoping that it keep the bluebirds coming. They are still coming, but not for the worms. Maybe the dried stuff isn't as appealing as the live wiggly stuff.
3/18/11 A non-sequiter. I found this tiny, weathered old nest on the ground amongst some dried brush while weeding the trail off of the chaparral stand near the entry to the property. So delicate and only about 5" in diameter. I placed it in the inner branches of our now 8-ft. tall 'San Gabriel' Fremontodendron, just in case it can be reused by another birdie.