Bluebirds - Common, Rare, Endangered or Threatened?
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:34:42 -0500
To: The Constituency,
The reports I read on these Lists increasingly suggest to me that Bluebirds are becoming more and more common in several parts of the continent.
I have a distinct sense, based on the mail I receive from Conspirators, that they are even making slow but measurable progress in NH, though ours is still a relatively Bluebird-poor state. The majority of folks I speak to up here say that they have never seen one in their lives, while others say they haven't seen one "for decades."
I wonder if some of you are of the opinion that the Bluebird is now, in fact, a common bird where you live. Perhaps some of you even feel that it is time to declare victory, and that there is no longer a need to exert special efforts on its (no apostrophe) behalf.
I'd be interested in your views, even if they are merely impressions.
Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Sunapee NH
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:24:02 -0600
Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Bluebirds are very common across east Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Very large numbers of nestboxes are placed in rural settings in those states. After about 10 years of fairly mild winters large populations of bluebirds have built up but a single widespread severe winter will change numbers drastically as happened in the mid 1970's.
Sunday I visited with Steve Gilbertson in Minnesota, over the phone and he had temperatures at -20* F while I had been raking leaves and sweating with no shirt on at 65*F "at" 9:00 AM..... Bluebirds were drifting overhead on Sunday fighting a south head wind ahead of this cold front in groups of 1530 heading mostly due south. With the passage of the front, bluebirds were ripping overhead in smaller groups pushed by a viscous cold north wind just a day later. Yes we have done a great job bringing the bluebird back to many areas of the country but they will always have to depend on humans for additional nest sites and help from predators, which in their case are actually increasing in numbers.
I agree with Bruce in that many people in Texas will "CONGRADULATE" us "bluebirders" for doing a good job at bringing back the bluebird. KK
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 09:37:56 -0500
Hi Bruce and all,
Here in upstate NY on the east tip of Lake Ontario, bluebirds are still not common birds. There are two major trails within 50 miles of us which produce many bluebirds, but a cold wet Spring (all too common here) usually knocks down the population every couple of years. More people in my immediate area are seeing bluebirds, most for the first time, but such sightings are still rare enough to make the local paper. It has only been in the last 6-7 years that my yard has reliably attracted at least one breeding pair each season. Our snowbelt climate is very hard on all birds who nest early and need insects for their young, as snow and/or freezing rain are common right through early May.
First nestings often result in total failure because of weather conditions, and third nestings are almost unheard of. Nonetheless, bluebird populations here do seem to be on the increase, judgingfrom reports of our local bird groups.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:51:17 -0700
Bruce and All some of those folks who have never see a bluebird are also the same ones who don't really look. I can spot bluebirds when even good birders do not see them. I think that this is just training.
We are having a problem with feral cats here and the city is going to pass a bill allowing misguided people to put up feeder stations for them. These are the same people who are picking up feral cats have them neutered and releasing them. (We can not kill any of Gods creatures).They feel that supplemental feeding will keep them killing song birds. Well it is my opinion that cats will kill just for the sake of killing.
ONE FERAL CAT CAN KILL IN THREE MONTHS ALL THE BIRDS I HELPED FLEDGED THIS YEAR.
It is estimated that one feral cat kills 1,000 songbirds in it short life span of 2 1/2 years. If they were all HOSP that would be fine but HOSP are too smart for cats.
I am going to speak against this city ordinance and would like some facts and you opinion. I have the information from National Audubon Society and Keep Cats Indoors. Any other suggestions?
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: The Constituency,
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:20:05 -0800 (PST)
It is about 15 degrees here in the NE corner of Okla. this morning. We have about 12" of snow so far and it is still snowing. The snow drifts are at least 2 ft or more.
The bluebirds that are normally at my mealworm feeder have been pretty scarce. I put out sumac and mealworms but this morning I only had one lone male bluebird eating mealworms. The bowl I put out with the mealworms in it ,on top of the foot of snow we already had, was mostly covered with snow after about an hour.
Since the temperature dropped this week I haven't seen much of the bluebirds. I do have a flock of Cardinals that are making themselves at home and have actually been eating the mealworms...Yes...sure surprised me!! I think we may set some records here today. I can't remember the last time we had a snow storm like this one.
Kerry in NE corner of Okla.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 13:01:18 EST
Here is Southeastern NY ( Westchester County )I would say that Bluebirds are not yet 'common' again. This is based on three things. First that very few people I meet have ever seen one. However I do agree with Bob Wilson that most people don't even look. In fact many people don't know what they are or look like. Many I have spoken to think I am speaking of Bluejays until I explain. Second I DO look and I think there are a few small flocks in the county in the winter and about the same number breeding here in the summer. Third a statement form the authorities at the Pound Ridge Reservation where there are a number of bluebirds that "Eastern Bluebirds, uncommon in most of Westchester County can be seen in Pound Ridge throughout the year". This is in their published leaflet THE BIRDS OF POUND RIDGE RESERVATION.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 18:04:25 EST
Bluebirds are not "common" around central Indiana. I do see more of them but that is probably because I'm always on the look-out. I had always seen EBB's when in the country. I now see them closer to town.
I agree with Jane in that so many people don't have the faintest idea what a Bluebird is and always think that is what the BlueJay is called just because it's blue. My mother always called the Indigo Bunting a bluebird. I keep trying to explain the difference. :^) Oh well. Hey... she's 82, and some things you just can't change!
Linda - Ind.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 21:34:43 -0800
We had 14" of snow and are getting more tonight.
We need more Bluebirds in Michigan. I had 8 nest attempts, 28 eggs, 26 hatched and 24 fledged. Tree Swallow 20 attempts, 75 eggs, 72 hatched and 67 fledged. House wren 15 attempts and 3 eggs. Black-Cap Chickadee 9 attempts, 26 eggs, 26 hatched and 25 fledged. House Sparrow 31 attempts. European Starling 1 attempts.
I do not keep Sparrow or Starling.
Maynard R Sumner Flint, Michigan
Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatian 6:7
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 21:44:32 -0500
To add to what Dot said about Eastern Bluebirds in New York, that species was removed from the NYS Endangered/Threatened List last year because the population has come back so well.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 21:51:23 -0800
Hello to the List! I have been reading the posts, but finally decided to stop lurking and jump back in.
Sherry here in Osoyoos, BC ... on the border of Washington State. (N 49 04.135 W 119 34.402)
It is cold here (about 10 degrees F) with only an inch or 2 of snow, but more predicted. My feeders don't have a great variety these days but make up for it in numbers - 100+ juncos, 80+ California Quail, 100+ American Goldfinches & house finches, a dozen black capped chickadees, & 4 fox sparrows. They can clean out the feeders in no time!! I feed black oil sunflower seed, mixed seed (no house sparrows) and cracked corn.
Unfortuneately we do not have bluebirds at my elevation (2150') over winter. There are a few small flocks of a dozen or so that stay in the valley over winter, but most are long gone. I had Western Bluebirds in small flocks of 12 to 16 through to October 20th this year - the latest ever for Westerns. Some small flocks of Mountain Blues were spotted in early October, but most were gone earlier.
Our Bluebird Society nestbox returns showed 8118 bluebirds fledged this year. This is an increase of over 1200 from 1999. On the surface one would think this is great. However, I do not feel it is reason to celebrate (or congradulate ... as some are wont to say). The weather played well in our area this past spring and nearly every monitor commented on fewer sterile eggs and very few dead nestlings. BUT there were fewer nestboxes used (Mtn 11% less and Western 6% less). Where we had a positive was in the Western Blues - they produced, on average, 1 more egg per box than in previous years and the fledge was up a whopping 40%!! Bluebirds are a "common" sight only in a very few areas ... and those are saturated with nestboxes. We have a long way to go. There are still lots of people that have never seen a bluebird or think you mean a Stellars Jay. The Indian Elders and some of the very longtime residents tell of the days when the bluebird was in fact common here. I can only hope that someday it will be again. Until then we keep spreading the word and encouraging anyone who cares to listen.
Wishing you all the best of the holiday season and great bluebirding for 2001!
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 01:23:01 -0600
Hi Bruce and all,
In my little world, EAstern BLuebirds (EABL) are very common...during the summer. I bet I have almost a 100 percent chance of seeing an EABL every time I drive the five miles to my sons' school - not counting any in my yard. Usually I'll see more than one as I go.
Last spring I had an EABL couple who was taking a very long time deciding to move into one of my houses. Then it seemed like they didn't show up for a day or two and I figured that they must have chosen another homeowner. So, what would any sane, overanxious, prospective EABL landlord do if it appeared her home was being rejected? I drove around the neighborhood to figure out who had stolen MY EABLs away!
Well, I saw at least five EABL couples in about a one-mile radius. I didn't know who to blame for wooing them away. I couldn't tell which ones were mine!
All's well that ends well...some EABL couple (probably MINE to begin with) showed up within a couple days and started nesting.
Frankly, there isn't another bird species that I can count on seeing as reliably, wherever I travel around southern/southeastern Minnesota, as the EABL. Not even a Robin! Oh, such problems!
But I do miss seeing them in the winter!
Molly Jo Miller
P.S. We'd say "con graj u late" around here (sort of like refrigerate)!
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 08:34:42 -0500
To: The Constituency,
The reports I read on these Lists increasingly suggest to me that Bluebirds are becoming more and more common in several parts of the continent. I wonder if some of you are of the opinion that the Bluebird is now, in fact, a common bird where you live. Perhaps some of you even feel that it is time to declare victory, and that there is no longer a need to exert special efforts on its (no apostrophe) behalf. I'd be interested in your views, even if they are merely impressions.
Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Sunapee NH
P.S. This morning I heard a Person Who Is Paid To Speak (PWIPTS) pronounce "congratulate" as "CONGRADULATE." Is this practice common in your area?
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 15:08:13 -0500
They are common in the rural areas around Paris. I usually see as many bluebirds as I see cardinals.
From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
They are very common here year round. I see bluebirds every day of the year. I have so many, I am searching for more places to put up boxes. There is a wonderful water supply about a mile long that runs through our property and that is where most of my nest boxes are located on both sides of it.
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 15:40:17 -0500 (Central Daylight Time)
BB's common in my area?
From: "Bill Darnell" bdarnel3"at"bellsouth.net
They are very common here year round. I see bluebirds every day of
Bluebirds are extremely common here; I give myself some of the credit, if I may toot my horn a little. Just after Keith K mentioned BB's taking boxes from sparrows, I saw it happen here with my own eyes. They will build in rural mailboxes, a syrup bucket, and probably an old shoe.
From: "Anne-Marie Palermino" ampalermino"at"msn.com
we are working at increasing their number in Rhode Island! Before moving here I sure had never seen one in New Hampshire where we used to live. Do they prefer warmer wheather?
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 20:48:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Bruce asked: Are Bluebirds common is some areas of the
From: Maynard R Sumner m-r-sumner"at"juno.com
...We are getting more and more Bluebirds here in Michigan, but the Tree Swallows out number them.
From: "PTom" ptom"at"austin.rr.com
I've already presented this thought to some of you. Kate's Message brought it to mind again.
Are there any ill effects we might cause if we add "too many" bluebirds? Is there a point at which we would upset the balance of nature by adding "too many" nestboxes? Is there ever a point when helping bluebirds and spreading the joy that bluebirds bring becomes meddling?
Bluebirds Across Texas...one nestbox at a time
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 07:40:08 -0400
From: "judymellin" judymellin"at"netzero.net
From: "Kathy Clark" lilbirdie2u"at"hotmail.com
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