Friday, July 18, 2008


photo by Ken Thomas

This is a tale about a bluebird family, and my dad.

My dad lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Marge, in a house with floor to ceiling windows, lots of antiques and oriental rugs, and some land. They too are passionate about their garden, but it's a different kind of garden -- a vegetable garden. We exchange photos and news about roses, peas, columbine, and potatoes. And birds. They've got finches, and jays, of course, and turkeys, and until recently, bluebirds.

photo by Bill D, Alpharetta, GA

Last year, they were so pleased to see that a bluebird couple had moved into their bluebird nesting box. They watched as the pair built a nest, then as the female brooded on the eggs, and as they worked to feed the chicks. Dad and Marge grew very fond of the birds and were thrilled when the original bluebird couple returned to their nesting box this spring. Eggs were laid, chicks were hatched, and all was right with the world.

Then one morning they found the male bluebird lying dead near the house. Other than being dead, it looked unharmed; they guessed that it had flown into one of their windows. They watched for the female and saw that she was still around, feeding her noisy chicks to the best of her ability. But after a few days, she was gone. Soon there was no noise from the box. My dad told me about climbing a ladder and cleaning out the box. No bluebirds have returned.

photo: free license, Wikipedia, by "Basil"

He said they felt sad about it, and he sounded sad. Thinking about it, I feel sad, too.

To the bluebirds, I bow.

Click here or here to hear the bluebird's song.

bowing figure by Ed Silverton, UK

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1 comment:

  1. I am soooo happy I found your blog! I love to paint birds and you have some amazing photos for inspiration. ps born and raised in Port Jeff ;-)