Monday, June 1, 2009

Bird of the Week XXXVl

The last "Bird of the Week" is the Eastern Bluebird. It is not a common bird in Reading. As a matter of fact, I saw my first Bluebird in Reading in April of 2008. We just don't have enough of the necessary habitat to attract a lot of Bluebirds. The Male Eastern Bluebirds are vivid, deep blue above and rusty or brick-red on the throat and breast. Blue in birds always depends on the light, and males often look plain gray-brown from a distance. Females are grayish above with bluish wings and tail, and a subdued orange-brown breast. Blue tinges in the wings and tail give the grayer females an elegant look. Eastern Bluebirds sing a fairly low-pitched, warbling song made up of several phrases.
You can find Eastern Bluebirds in open country with patchy vegetation and large trees or nest boxes. Meadows, old fields, and golf courses are good places. Bluebirds typically sit in the open on power lines or along fences, with an alert, vertical posture. When they drop to the ground after an insect, they make a show of it, with fluttering wings and a fairly slow approach, followed by a quick return to the perch. Eastern Bluebirds eat mostly insects, wild fruit and berries.
Eastern bluebirds nest in cavities (holes). These holes may be in old trees, old fence posts, etc. They take readily to nest boxes erected in the proper habitat. The male Eastern Bluebird displays at his nest cavity to attract a female. He brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and waves his wings while perched above it. That is pretty much his contribution to nest building; only the female Eastern Bluebird builds the nest and incubates the eggs.
Eastern Bluebirds typically have more than one successful brood per year. Young produced in early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter.

The best place to see Bluebirds in Reading is at the Bare Meadow Conservation land off of Pearl St. Last spring a pair raised 3 broods (families)! A pair is nesting there this year and have all ready raised one brood.

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