Bluebirds in a New England winter — not that uncommon

Photo by Chris Bosak An Eastern Bluebird perches near a lake in Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An Eastern Bluebird perches near a lake in Danbury, Conn., Feb. 2016.

Eastern Bluebirds, similar to American Robins, are thought of as mostly a spring and summer bird in New England. I love finding an active bluebird box in April or May and watching the parents go back and forth feeding the youngsters hidden inside the box.

But Eastern Bluebirds are also commonly found in New England during the winter. I love seeing them after a snowfall; how their bright blue and orange seem even brighter against the white backdrop. Bluebird Continue reading

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Bluebirds — the bird of winter 2014-15?

Elena from Winchester, N.H., got this shot of Eastern Bluebirds at her warm-water birdbath during the cold snap of Feb. 2015.

Elena from Winchester, N.H., got this shot of Eastern Bluebirds at her warm-water birdbath during the cold snap of Feb. 2015.

Here’s my For the Birds column from last week. Since I wrote it I have received a few more emails from readers who have seen bluebirds this winter. In fact, one reader wrote to say he saw seven Eastern Bluebirds pile into a single birdhouse to stay warm. (Note, the above photo was taken by a reader from New Hampshire).

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It seems that every winter has its bird. Last year, of course, it was the Snowy Owl. A few years ago it was the Common Redpoll and, before that, the Pine Siskin.

Every year it seems a certain species of bird “irrupts” into New England and sets the birding world abuzz. An irruption is when birds come to a region in large numbers, presumably because their food source is scarce on their typical wintering grounds. The term usually refers to northern birds, especially finches, coming south for the winter.

I can remember a winter when the Dark-eyed Junco was bird of winter. We see them every winter in New England, but during this particula Continue reading