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Old 01-07-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Winter Bluebirds

I was pleasantly surprised to see these Bluebirds feeding on the sumac just above my head. I didn't know that they overwintered this far north (MA/NH border).

Winter Bluebirds-winter-012.jpgWinter Bluebirds-winter-013.jpgWinter Bluebirds-winter-014.jpgWinter Bluebirds-winter-015.jpgWinter Bluebirds-winter-018.jpg
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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They heard about the great buffet you had out, waiting for them.

Nice photos. Pretty birds.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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They are a little north of the usual wintering range, but I have also heard of some bluebirds overwintering in southern Wisconsin.

I found it interesting that the brief description in my Audubon Society guide to birding included the sentence: "They occur in flocks in the nonbreeding season, often feeding on berries." Your photos turns that sentence into a nice visual display.

Your post stimulated a little information gathering on bluebirds in Wisconsin. I found that the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW) has a nice information "packet" on bluebirds and a few other cavity nesters. It's somewhat of a long read, but it had a lot of interesting facts about bluebirds that were gleaned from over 20 years of monitoring bluebird trails. Several of their observations were new to me.

It also has a nice pictorial guide on aging a fledgling day by day.

http://www.braw.org/PDFs/IP%203%20final.pdf
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Great Pics Bulu! And What a great find from BRAW Newsic it's really intresting just looking at the graphs the # of tree swallows fledged seems to follow the same curve as the # of nest boxes while the # of Bluebirds Fledged spikes dramatically even though the relative abundance of tree swallows is 3 1/2 times that of bluebirds according to the BBS in 2006. I can't wait to sit down and read this publication thoroughly.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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Very nice photos! Thanks for sharing
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Great photos, Bulu.

Although I've seen the bluebirds a couple times in the winter, I was surprised to see them eating the berries of my sumac last month. I always thought that sumac were a "last resort" food that they eat late winter. The bluebird, a chickadee, and titmouse proved that wrong...I didn't even realize that the latter two would eat he berries at all. I love being able to observe bird behavior in my very an yard!

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Thanks for the link, NEWisc. I'll check it out when I have more time.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:11 AM   #7
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What kind of sumac is that? I want some!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turttle View Post
What kind of sumac is that? I want some!
I believe that it is Staghorn Sumac.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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Mine came to staghorn, but that is the only sumac I have (so far)...Maybe I should get another variety...the low-growing one would be nice.
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