Monday, February 07, 2011

Winter Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebird

Scenes of natural beauty abound after a fresh snowfall, especially in the dead of winter when those of us living in Wisconsin crave any sort of change. The wooded snowscapes are picturesque; silhouetted trees rendering blue shadows over the countryside, but seldom are they decorated with anything as striking as a flock of Eastern Bluebirds – they were like ornaments when perched together. When Dottie Johnson and I came upon the bluebird flock at Rowan Creek on Saturday, we were stunned how bright and glowing their feathers were; the light reflecting off the snow illuminated every blue plume.

A mixed flock of other birds foraged with the bluebirds along the edges of the creek, including an American Robin, Song and Swamp Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatch, and a Downy Woodpecker. We followed them for several minutes, pausing briefly when I thought I heard the chatter of a Winter Wren. Further down, we finally caught up with the little brown ball of feathers. The energetic wren kept favoring a particular spot of exposed tree roots with access to the open ground and water. We were on our way out of the park after snowshoeing for several hours, so we decided to let the birds do their thing without disturbing them any further.

Location: Rowan Park
Observation date: 2/5/11
Number of species: 23

Canada Goose
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
© 2011 Mike McDowell

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