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The Backyard Birder, Issue April2010, Welcome The Birds Back!
April 12, 2010

The Backyard Birder

My name is Susan Kelly and I am the new editor/owner of The Backyard Birder. I look forward to sharing with you each month my love of birds.

Is there any sign of spring quite so welcome as the the sight of the first bluebird - unless it is his softy whistled song? Often the snow is still on the ground when this hardy fellow makes himself very much at home in our backyards while waiting for a mate to arrive from the south.

Now is the time to have ready the little one-roomed birdhouses that blue birds are only too happy to occupy. More enjoyable neighbors would be hard to find. Sparrows will fight for the boxes, but if there are plenty of boxes available, and the sparrows are persistently driven off, the bluebirds, which are a little larger, but less bold, quickly take possession.

Birds that come earliest in the season and feed on insects, before the bugs have time to multiply are of far greater value in the garden and backyard than birds that delay their return until warm weather.

Many birds would be of even greater service if they received just a little encouragement to make their homes nearer yours. As two or even three broods of bluebirds may be raised in a box each spring, and as insects are their most approved baby food, you see how much it is to our benefit to set up nurseries for them near our homes.

The female lays three to six pale blue eggs. At first the babies are blind, helpless, and almost naked. Then they grow a suit of dark feathers with speckled vests similar to their cousins, the baby robin's. It is not untl they are able to fly that the lovely deep blue shade gradually appears on ther grayish upper parts. Then their throat, breast, and sites turn rusty red.

Young bluebirds are far less wild and noisy than robins. Here are some links you might find helpful for attracting bluebirds to your backyard:

BlueBird Houses

BlueBird Feeders

Until next month - Happy Birding!


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