Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly!

Writer: Vickie Kite Milburn
Last year during the shelter-in-place order I was happy to have the opportunity to capture and share with our readers 30 days of incredible sunsets. I took photos of the sunsets and any wildlife I encountered — blue herons, geese, osprey, rabbits and birds. I was so happy one rare evening when I spotted the most beautiful bluebird and was blessed to get a great shot. That was my first photo of a bluebird. They always remind me of “The Wizard of Oz.” I love that they symbolize hope and happiness, something after a year of COVID that we desperately need!
When my neighbor, Kirk McCauley, told me he had been using mealworms in his feeders and had been seeing a lot of bluebirds, I decided to give them a try in order to attract some to my backyard.
Once I added the mealworms as well as a few bluebird feeders, I was so happy to have a flock of bluebirds visiting my yard. I did some research and learned that placing bluebird houses gives the birds a place to nest, flourish and be protected from predators. So far, I’ve put up two boxes and I plan to add a few more to create a bluebird house trail. Now the only problem is distraction; my office overlooks Breton Bay, my feeders and the birdhouses. It’s difficult to get any work done because I’m always reaching for my camera!
During our first ice storm, I was happy to see at least six bluebirds at the Bluebird Café feeder enjoying the mealworms. As the ice thawed, I didn’t see as many, but I did start seeing this same pair of bluebirds scouting a perfect nesting location. Both the male (more blue) and the female would fly to the house, look inside, go into the house and minutes later fly out. They were hanging together near the birdhouse observing their surroundings. While most of the photos are of this endearing pair, many of the other photos are of other bluebirds on our feeders, fences, shrubs and hangers.
Despite the February weather, I was determined to capture a photo of a bluebird for the cover of the spring issue. Unfortunately, my timing wasn’t the best, my grass hasn’t greened, spring renewal has barely started, and there has been lots of snow, ice and rain. But with lots of patience and prayer, and God’s blessing, I was able to capture not only a cover shot … but many more. I decided to share them with you. I hope they bring you happiness!
I am also hopeful there will be many broods of baby bluebirds born in the spring and summer. I’ll keep you posted.