Bird Eggs - Counting & Colors: Count To 20 With Fun & Colorful Birds

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Bluebirds are typically seen as a symbol for happiness. Most adult Bluebirds live for only a few years, while a small number live up to four or five years. The oldest recorded Eastern Bluebird was ten years old, with the oldest Western and Mountain Bluebird being recorded at approximately six years old.

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A bluebird can spot caterpillars and insects in tall grass at the remarkable distance of over 50 yards. Bluebird females of all species have duller plumage than males; this may reduce their visibility to predators. Eastern Bluebirds will occasionally breed with Mountain Bluebirds and successfully raise young.

Bluebirds have no blue pigments in their feathers. Instead, each feather barb has a thin layer of cells that absorb all wavelengths of color except blue. Only the blue wavelength is reflected and scattered, resulting in their blue appearance to our eyes. Unlike other Bluebirds, Mountain Bluebirds are able hover above the ground while searching for insects. This enables them to live in areas with few trees or shrubs, while Eastern and Western Bluebird need trees to provide the elevated perches from which they hunt.

Twilight of the Evening

Late winter and early spring cold fronts can be very dangerous for Bluebirds due to the depletion of natural fruit supplies and the lack of insects. This is equivalent to a two hundred pound human eating 24 pounds of food each day. This sit-and-wait technique is called drop-hunting.

Like many other birds, bluebirds make a high volume shriek when captured by predators.


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It is thought that these screams are used to attract other predators, which in turn will then distract the original predator long enough for the bluebird to escape. Unpaired male bluebirds may sing up to 1, songs per hour, but average a more reasonable rate of four to five hundred songs per hour.

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Predators are less likely to find a new nesting cavity than one that has been in existence for a few years. Northern Flickers and Hairy, Downy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers all produce nesting cavities suitable for later use by Bluebirds. Eastern Bluebirds actually appear duller after molting in the late summer than at any other time of the year. Their new body feathers have dull brownish tips that wear off during the winter, leaving them bright and colorful for the next breeding season.

The first was the third county record of Dusky Flycatcher , a species that may occur here occasionally in spring migration, but very difficult to distinguish from the much more prevalent Hammond's Flycatcher. The second was the first ever county record of Lark Sparrow. This species prefers to nest on arid grassland or sagebrush with rocky soil in eastern Washington.

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Lark Sparrow seems to make an appearance somewhere in western Washington with a bit of regularity at random locations. With this record in Cowlitz County, only Wahkiakum and Mason counties have never hosted this handsome bird.

This year they added a second camera with live audio. There are 3 eggs now.

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As is typical for April the arrival of migrants started slowly and steadily ramped up as the month progressed, with numerous species making a first appearance in the county during the last week. This included our third ever record of Calliope Hummingbird on the very last day. This smallest bird species north of Mexico breeds east of the Cascades, but a few are seen briefly in places west of those mountains in late April or early May each year. The male with the striking rose-colored streaked gorget fit this pattern.

It made multiple morning visits to a window feeder in Woodland to the delight of the residents, only to not be seen again. We still have numerous species to make an appearance and migration will continue strong all through May, so get out there and enjoy this annual phenomenon, whether it be in your yard or in the forests and fields. Search Search Semipalmated and Baird's Sandpipers were both seen in August as is frequently the case. For whatever reason these two species fit with some other shorebird species that migrate north through the middle of the continent in spring, but a few are found going through Washington in the fall.

Also found was a Yellow-headed Blackbird which are not seen every year in the county, but seem to pop up at any time of year when they do appear.

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