A male Eastern Bluebird stands on a wooden nestbox attached to a fence post. The bluebird’s song – and his alert presence - assert his claim to this territory. In the mid-20th Century, the numbers of bluebirds in the Northeast declined to the lowest level ever, due largely to nesting competition from non-native starlings and House Sparrows. Then, conservation groups stepped up, setting out “bluebird trails” of nestboxes. Thanks to groups like the North American Bluebird Society, we can still count on bluebirds to welcome the arrival of spring.
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Eastern Bluebirds Herald Spring
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Eastern Bluebird song, repeated]
What a lovely song! The very sound of spring, a mellow burbled refrain from the edge of a meadow. [Eastern Bluebird song, repeated] A shimmer of blue against the still wintry landscape confirms our eager hope: an Eastern Bluebird has just returned north.
A male bluebird stands atop a wooden nestbox attached to a fence post. He’s an Eastern Bluebird – a small thrush – and he gleams deep blue with a rusty orange breast. [Eastern Bluebird song] The bluebird’s song – and his alert presence – assert his claim to this territory.
But an intruder, a Tree Swallow, dives toward the nestbox. With a rough chatter and raised wings, the bluebird warns the swallow away. [Eastern Bluebird chattering call]
Bluebirds rely on nestboxes. In the mid-20th Century, their numbers in the Northeast declined to the lowest level ever, due largely to nesting competition from non-native starlings and House Sparrows. Conservation groups stepped up, setting out “bluebird trails” of nestboxes built just right for these beautiful birds.
[Eastern Bluebird song]
Eastern Bluebirds have rebounded. And we can still count on them to welcome the arrival of spring.
Today’s show is brought to you by White Flower Farm: a family-owned mail-order nursery offering a wide range of perennials, annuals and shrubs for spring planting. More information is at whiteflowerfarm.com.
[Eastern Bluebird song]
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Eastern Bluebird #85201 recorded by W.L. Hershberger.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org March 2017 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# sound-15-2013-03-20 sound-15