I remember the very first Eastern Bluebird I saw. The unexpected colors of that charming little bird perched on the top wire of the fence that separated my country school yard from a farm field caught my eye. It was only there for a few seconds, but I always remembered the lovely blue, dusty rose and white. I can still feel the thrill, the joy, I felt to see such beauty for the first time. Though I kept my eyes open for more bluebirds, I happened across only a handful in the past 50 years.
That is, until my husband and I moved to an acreage five years ago. I couldn’t believe our good fortune to see many bluebirds flitting through our trees. Bluebird nesting houses posted along a neighbor’s fence no doubt encouraged the pretty birds to come and stay. I bought a bluebird book to understand them better. The book provided detailed – and simple – instructions for building nesting boxes, but we never made the effort.
In the last two years we haven’t seen near so many bluebirds. I blame a late spring cold snap a couple of years ago that may have set nesting birds back a generation or two. Or it could be that the neighbors aren’t maintaining their nesting boxes.
Anyway, we dug out the book and refreshed our memory of what attracts bluebirds. Come to find out, bluebirds like honeysuckle hedge and grapevines. We have both. In a few hours, my husband built a nesting box and installed it on our fence.
Now, every day when I look out the kitchen window, I see the box and the box gives me hope. Hope for the next generation of bluebirds. Hope for seeing the unexpected beauty of their colors flashing across the sky. Hope for a return of the childlike joy I feel each time I see them.
* The Bluebird Book: The Complete Guide to Attracting Bluebirds *Bluebird photo from National Geographic