Thoughts about the birds and the bees have been known to preoccupy humans since they developed the notion of euphemism. With all our emphasis on bees we thought perhaps it was time for a few words about the birds, particularly as we have seen a pair of Valentine bluebirds showing some interest in a house we have for them.

Bluebird

Bluebird from wikipedia.

While building Fort Annabelle we were gobsmacked to spy a bluebird in the sumac. A bluebird in January. A bluebird in a Michigan January. A bluebird in a Michigan January on a cold soon to get wretchedly colder day. We knew that it would never wait for us to get the camera so we just stood in frozen (and freezing) amazement arguing with our eyes for the few minutes until it flew off. We later learned from the Michigan Bluebird Society that they do overwinter in the area. They are part of trend among a number of North American birds to expand their winter range northward. The drivers of this trend are not known with certainty but an increasing warm and decreasingly snowy climate is suspected.

Bathing Robins

Bathing Robins

We have also been entertained by the round of robins frequenting our area. Nearly twenty in all, they loom in the branches of our large maple and take turns crowding around the birdbath. More territorial in summer they are positively gregarious in the winter.

And in summer there is nothing more enthusiastic than a single, splashing robin that has gotten the birdbath to itself. One almost doesn’t mind having to trudge out to refill the tub.

Cardinal

Cardinal in winter

And then the cardinals. We usually have a few year round but their numbers increase in the winter. The bright red is cheering on our grey, mucky days but especially when we have sun and snow.

Every season we track the most male cardinals we can see at one time from the house. It can be difficult as they flit about forcing us to begin again. With childlike glee we had a new record of fifteen this year.

And there are a number of other birds that we appreciate but fail to mention. Having to come up with a few words for each and find or take a decent photo would delay this post even further when we mainly just wanted to document our bluebird surprise and hopes of their tenancy.
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