Friday, June 11, 2010

Western Bluebird

I did some research lately on Western Bluebirds because I remember hearing a few years ago that there has been an effort to rebuild the population in the area by erecting houses. I thought it would be fun to see if I could find some in the area. They don't seem to frequent the refuges and wetland areas I typically visit to take pictures.
I discovered The Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project on the web and found there that Champoeg State Park is having a Bluebird Day this coming Saturday. Champoeg State Park is only about a 15 minute drive form my home, so I was pretty excited to visit the park and see if I could find any nesting.
As you enter the park it isn't long before you start seeing the houses along the road. Champoeg's website recommends walking the trail near the Willamette River so that is what where I started. Much of the trail is forested so I didn't expect to see any bluebirds there since I had read that they like open grasslands. Eventually the trail opened up into a vast grassland area and I could see a few houses off in the distance. One of the houses had a bluebird sitting on it, but it was way off in the distance. Not one to venture off the trail, I continued on to see what else might be ahead. The trail eventually reentered into a wooded area and I continued walking until I came to the campgrounds at which point I decided to turn back.
Once I returned to the grasslands I looked to see if there was any trail that led off in the direction of the house that saw the bluebirds. Sure enough there was a trail leading that way so I followed until I found a grass road the led right past the house. This was probably a service road that the park employees use to monitor the bluebird nests. As I approached the house I saw that there was both a male and female nearby. I slowly walked near the house and then crouched down low and waited to see if they would come to the house with me nearby. They were weary of my presence, but eventually returned to the house to feed their chirping young. If they had seemed too stressed, I would have backed off, but they were mostly acting cautious. I'm sure I was much less intrusive than the nest researchers.
I took lots of pictures. The pictures of the male above are the first two I opened on my computer after offloading them from my camera. They were great shots so I thought I'd just post them before looking at any more. I'll post more soon, including the female.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, nice pictures. How could anyone not love bluebirds!

    I have had several brood this year on in our nesting houses. Check it out,...