Monday, January 15, 2018

Leave Bluebird Heaven As It Is

Bluebirds are among the prettiest of birds, but they are not the easiest to spot. One primary reason is that these cavity nesters' habitat is endangered by suburbanization.

Standing (or leaning) dead trees in undisturbed forests provide the ideal homes for these little birds, but too often they are considered visual clutter in our fast-developing world and cleared away. It is good that many conservation-minded and bird-loving individuals and organizations have mounted thousands of  bluebird nest boxes along highways and rural roads (such as the Blue Ridge Parkway). That helps; however, the removal of natural cavity space for bluebirds remains a problem.

What a delightful discovery it has been, therefore, to find a spot where bluebirds flit about freely just about every day my dawg Ellie and I walk their way. A little beyond a complex of county ballfields that we circle lies a somewhat marshy area with an untouched swath of forest containing a great many dead trees with obvious cavity space.

The bluebirds must think they are in Heaven.

So do I sometimes, as a result of being able to watch them flit about with their deep blue coloring mixed with chestnut-red undercoating. They warm my heart on the coldest of January mornings.

When the Great Backyard Bird Count comes around again next month, I may just take my binoculars and logbook with me on dawgwalks and do my observations from this Bluebird Heaven.

I just pray no official comes along to declare the deadwood an eyesore that must be taken out.

Let the Eastern Bluebirds continue to call this their Carolina home.

                  © Robert Gray Holland Sr.  (2018)

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