bluebirds like to perch

I don’t know a ton about birds, but I do know this: Bluebirds like to perch on posts. If you see something cute and feathered perching on a fencepost in an open piece of land, “bluebird” should at least cross your mind. (Blue feathers should make you a little more sure, although you won’t necessarily be able to make them out, depending on the angle you’re looking at and the bird’s sex.) A few weeks ago I stopped at Manassas National Battlefield on the way back from Richmond and was delighted to see a ton of Eastern bluebirds, many of them on fenceposts.

See that thing on the post near the bottom of the picture? That’s a bluebird. It’s on a fence around a monument commemorating the first battle of Bull Run.

Then a little bit later we were walking down a path and alarmed a bluebird that had just been sitting on a sign – and I was amused by this graphic proof that, indeed, birds hang out here a lot.

I wonder if park employees have to go around scrubbing the signs all the time?

Cool story I just learned from the USGS: In the mid-1800s, as settlers pushed westward and cut down all the trees, Eastern bluebirds proliferated. Clearing out old-growth forests and producing nice open fields and orchards suited them just fine. Also, they liked that farmers fenced their fields with wooden fenceposts.

photos: me

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2 Responses to bluebirds like to perch

  1. Hugh says:

    ah but the neat historical story goes even further. bluebirds nest in holes in trees, so when pioneers finished cutting down all the trees in their surroundings, bluebird numbers plummeted—despite the thoughtful provision of thousands of fenceposts. It wasn’t until the 50s and 60s and the popularity of “bluebird trails” where people put up jillions of nest boxes that bluebird populations rebounded. just another reminder that a dead tree is more than just a dead tree, and we should leave them standing…

  2. Helen says:

    Oh, interesting – thanks!