For the Birds: Romance with mealworms

Photo by Chris Bosak A male eastern bluebird feeds his mate mealworms in a backyard in Danbury, Connecticut, April 2020. Merganser Lake.

Is there anything more romantic than shoving a few dried mealworms into your mate’s mouth? Not if you’re a bluebird.

“My” bluebirds are still coming around daily. For the past few days, I’ve watched the male feeding the female, even though she could easily get her own mealworms a few feet away. What fun would that be? Where’s the romance in that? How would she really know if he was the one?

It’s part of the courtship, of course, but it’s also fun to watch. Every time I saw them land on the deck railing together I’d wait a few seconds and, sure enough, the male would jump down to grab a few worms and go right back up to feed his mate.

I feel fortunate that the bluebirds are still visiting daily, but they won’t be using the bluebird box I purchased and set up in the backyard. They have checked it out a few times but don’t seem that interested in it. It’s not proper bluebird habitat, I admit. They prefer flat, Continue reading

Birds to brighten your day: April 29

Photo by Chris Bosak A male northern cardinal feeds its mate in a backyard in New England, April 2020. Merganser Lake.

A Day on Merganser Lake XX

I like this shot because it reminds me of shy teenagers kissing behind the bushes. I remember those days, even though they were many moons ago. Last week, you may recall, I posted a photo of bluebirds feeding each other. Now, it’s the cardinals’ turn. My latest For the Birds column looks at this behavior. I’ll post the column on this site on Sunday, as usual.

(Repeat text for context:  I’m running out of COVID-19 lockdown themes so from now until things get back to some semblance of normalcy, I will simply post my best photo from the previous day. You could say it fits because of its uncertainty and challenge. I’ll call the series “A Day on Merganser Lake,” even though that’s not the real name of the lake I live near in southwestern Connecticut, it’s just a nod to my favorite duck family.)