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The Nature of Things

A blog about nature and the environment

Bluebirds in winter


I don’t really think of Eastern bluebirds as a winter bird, like chickadees, cardinals, juncoes, etc. But they’re out there, providing a splash of color on the cold, brown landscape.

I spied a few this weekend, flitting among the bare branches in the trees along the edge of my yard. (I know, technically, it’s not winter yet. But did you go outside this weekend?)

Insect-eaters during the warmer months, bluebirds turn to other sources come winter, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“They depend on fleshy seeds during cold periods when no insects are available. Red cedar, Virginia creeper, sumacs, bittersweet, hackberry and hawthorne are all native plants that feed wintering bluebirds.”

The Christmas Bird Count doesn’t mention them in New York until the 1947-1948 winter. The count’s data goes back to the winter of 1900-01.

The photo (by TJN photographer Ricky Flores) shows a bluebird in December 2004 at Muscoot Farm in Somers.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008 at 6:16 pm by Mike Risinit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: eastern bluebird, Uncategorized, winter



About this blog
The Nature of Things provides a chance to talk about the wild denizens that share the Lower Hudson Valley with us and the natural settings that make this place home for everyone. From Long Island Sound to the Hudson River to the Great Swamp and beyond, almost anything related to the environment is fair game in this blog.


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About the authors
SBenischekJournal News staff writer Greg Clary writes Earth Watch, reporting on environmental issues in the lower Hudson region. Clary has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Journal News since 1988 and has covered police and courts, transportation, municipal government, development and the environment in the Lower Hudson Valley, among other topics.
Laura IncalcaterraLaura Incalcaterra covers the environment, open space and zoning and planning issues for The Journal News. A Boston College graduate, Laura grew up in Rockland, attended East Ramapo schools and has worked for The Journal News since 1993. Laura has written features and covered North Rockland, crime, government and a host of other issues.
SBenischekMike Risinit covers Patterson and Kent in Putnam County, as well as environmental topics touching on the Hudson River and the Great Swamp. Risinit has been a reporter at The Journal News since 1998.
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