article and photos by Rose Collison
Look for Eastern Bluebirds in open country with patchy vegetation and large trees or nest boxes. Meadows, old fields, and golf courses provide good habitats for them as well. Bluebirds typically sit in the open on power lines or along fences, with an alert, vertical posture. When they drop to the ground after an insect, they make a show of it, with fluttering wings and a fairly slow approach, followed by a quick return to the perch.
They are marvelous birds to capture in binoculars. Male Eastern Bluebirds are a brilliant royal blue on the back and the head and warm red-brown on the breast. Blue tinges in the wings and tail give the grayer females an elegant look. Eastern Bluebirds typically have more than one successful brood per year. Young produced in early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter. Some do stick around Michigan throughout the winter but many of us think of spring when we see them.