Friday Favorites: Of Bluebirds & Bluegrass

This week birds, birds, birds are making me oh so happy. A male cardinal sings his spring song in a bush right outside my window, and when I look out, I often catch a flash of red. I wish I could get a picture of Mr. Cardinal, but he’s very wary and flies away every time I go to the window for a closer look. Certainly can’t blame a bird for being wary.

Even more exciting are the bluebirds, which for the first time ever  have come into our yard. Generally, they like fields and open spaces and don’t usually hang around in the winter. However, for reasons known only to them, the bluebirds have decided to stay in Maine during the cold season. To my delight, they have discovered the feeders in our yard at the edge of the forest.

Our dining room has big windows that look out over the backyard, and from the dining room I have been able to get reasonably good pictures of the blue beauties. (I knew they would fly away if I went outside.) A male is on the left, and a female is on the right.

Unfortunately, they aren’t very nice to each other some of the time. In the picture below I caught the male giving the female a look that clearly says “back off.” (I guess we’re still a few months away from mating season when a male bluebird probably wouldn’t be so cavalier.) And although I didn’t get a picture of it, I saw the female bluebirds doing the same thing to the males. It’s a rough and tumble world out there for birds.

Nevertheless, after living here for thirty-eight years, I am thrilled to finally see these lovely bluebirds in my backyard.


Nifty Posts from a Few of the Lovely Blogs I follow

To carry on with the bird theme:

Julie of From My Window featured fabulous close-ups of a male cardinal. Oh, I am envious.

All the way from South Africa—courtesy of Anne of Something Over Tea—comes this photo of the dignified streaky-headed seedeater.

On Change is Hard, it’s bird central at Kensington.

Coincidentally, Tootlepedel’s recent post is called “Birds, Birds, Birds,” and it is chock-a-block full of those fluttering, flying beauties.

Bon Anniversaire (or Happy Birthday)!

From Touring My Backyard: Bon anniversaire to Ju-Lyn’s “Baker Fiend Younger Child.”

From Rabbit Patch Diary: Bon anniversaire to Michele’s mama.


Now to music, but from humans rather than birds.

Along with alternative rock, I really like bluegrass. While it has its roots in traditional Irish, Scottish, and English music, bluegrass has its own sound, and to me it sounds American—peppy yet at times melancholy. Sad even, reflecting the full range of human emotions.

I recently came across the Del McCoury Band on—where else?—NPR Music Tiny Desk. Utterly charming, Del McCoury is bound to make you smile, both with his music and storytelling.

58 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Of Bluebirds & Bluegrass”

  1. I am delighted to see your Bluebirds and I really enjoy bluegrass music! Thank you for mentioning my Streakyheaded Seedeater, which looks rather dull by comparison to your fine featured Bluebirds.

  2. I’ve NEVER had bluebirds come to my feeder! How cool that they are visiting yours. Are they eating what all the others birds eat or did you put out something special for them? I have seen them around here, off and on all winter, so I know some stuck around. But I haven’t gotten more than a glimpse. It’s snowing again here at the moment. Big beautiful flakes falling slowly…it’s beautiful. But I want it OVER!!

  3. Bluebirds?? How wonderful, Laurie! We get jays, but that’s not the same critter at all. And now, with Monkey trying to chase away ALL the wildlife (read: squirrels, rabbits, cats, birds), I imagine our yard will be a dismal place. At least until this puppy gets to be a senior and decides to live and let live!

  4. The birds are beautiful. I’ve heard that hummingbirds can be vicious to each other! I saw a robin the other day; we only get robins when they’re migrating. A sure sign of spring!

  5. I celebrate your good fortune to have bluebirds. Thank you for sharing them with us, along with a glimpse into their rough-and-tumble gatherings.

    Thanks also for introducing me to the Del McCoury Band. I’m listening to the band right now. (And I love that they recorded in a bookstore!) Like you, I find bluegrass very compelling.

  6. Isn’t it amazing that bluebirds are sticking around in winter? I guess there are lots more feeders around to keep them here (ours love suet) and plenty of berries around for them. They visit our hollies and eat them all up by early January.
    Bluegrass is happy, toe-tapping music. 🙂

  7. I finally heard a mockingbird singing this morning, but that one bird (and a few cooing doves) are all that have piped up so far. I have a pair of cardinals visiting to feed, but I’ve yet to hear one singing. Perhaps they’re not as hardy as yours, and are waiting for just a little more warmth.

    I’ve always enjoyed bluegrass. We have a bluegrass association in our area that puts on monthly jams and concerts; it’s always great fun. As for the more famous, I never get tired of listening to Doc Watson, Tony Rice, or Hot Rize. It’s good music for working, too.

  8. I love bluegrass and bluebirds! Your photos of a bluebird tiff are great. I recently spotted a male bluebird in our huge walnut tree. It was easy to see against the bare branches. Whenever I see one I picture me in my blue skirt, white blouse and red vest going to my bluebird group meeting. I loved my uniform and I still own my bluebird pin. It is such a happy memory of wearing this outfit to school that was inspired by an adorable bird!

  9. I’m thrilled to see the bluebirds too, naughty squabblers as they may be. Birds seem much more excitable creatures than we give them credit for.

  10. Bluebirds started coming to us, too, in Massachusetts. I can vouch for the fact that they make a person happy no matter what else is going on around them.

  11. We saw bluebirds just last weekend while walking. They usually become evident in March as they start setting up housekeeping in next boxes around our place. Some years I see them in winter, others just starting about now.
    As to Bluegrass music, we live in the heart of it. The Shenandoah Valley has musical traditions and festivals going back… since the English sent those pesky Irish and Scotts out to the mountains rather than let them settle in the plantation regions along the coasts. – Oscar

  12. The 38 years wait for those bluebirds was definitely worth it…wonderful birds! Bluegrass is pretty good too, and bluegrass in a library’s even better!

  13. Hurrah for bluebirds and cardinals! (And thanks for linking my cardinal pics!) I grew up in Northfield, Massachusetts, which borders both New Hampshire and Vermont, so I spent my teen years enjoying classic rock and bluegrass and old timey music in any of those the three states. 😉 At one point, I even borrowed a banjo and took banjo lessons. I got as far as playing a mean “Skip To M’Lou”….

  14. Good to see eastern bluebirds again! We have the western bluebird and the mountain bluebird in Oregon, though I have not seen one here.

    Rick and I always enjoy Del McCoury and his music.

  15. How wonderful to see your bluebirds! Ours never come to the feeders. We do see them in the birdbath and hanging around in the maple tree near the birdbath.

  16. I love it when the birds show up. I’m not surprised that your bluebirds are bringing you so much happiness. I saw my first hummingbird of the year yesterday and hurriedly cleaned and filled my feeders. Can’t wait for spring. 😀

  17. I love bluebirds and how wonderful you have them visiting and enjoying the bird feeders!! Enjoyed the music and wonderful photos, especially the one during their little spat.

  18. It’s ovely to have lots of birds in the garden, isn’t it, feeding them, giving them something to drink. Winter can be hard for them. Unfortunately we have no red cardinals or bluebirds, our birds are a little less colourful but I love to see them in my garden anyway.

    1. We love all the birds that come to our yard, no matter the color. But, it is a bonus when they are bright and pretty. 😉 The bluebirds caused a flutter because they had never come here before.

      1. Oh yes, we too get other birds and insects than we used to, I think that is cos of the climate change.

      2. While I’m not a fan of climate change—big understatement—having different birds come to our area is an example of it’s an ill wind that blows no good.

  19. How excited to have so many beautiful birds outside your window. It is downright challenging capturing clear bird pics. I’ve certainly tried. Nature can be brutal and the life of a bird is fraught with danger. A lovely post, Laurie.

  20. What a thrill to get visits from bluebirds! Such a treat to be able to watch the birds at this time of year.
    My friend (who indeed has a wide open space for birds) gets them, but we don’t – as far as we know. But who knows who visits when we’re not looking?

  21. Oh, Laurie, bluebirds at your feeder! That is SO exciting! I’ve had them nest in my birdhouses, but have NEVER seen them at any feeder. I’ve even put feeders far from the house and put mealworms on them just to try to attract my favorite birds. What is your secret? Do you know what they are eating? Where is the feeder? Sorry for all the questions, but I see them in the area and just want them to know that they are REALLY welcome here. SO excited for you!!

    1. We feed our birds Meaties, mostly shelled sunflower seeds. And that’s it. The feeders are at the edge of our patio, but not far from the edge of the woods, where there are plenty of trees for the birds to take shelter in. However, bluebirds tend to like open spaces, so that might be a factor. I have tried different bird seed, but sunflower seeds seem to be what birds like best.

      1. Thanks for the tips. I use sunflowers, too. But our woods are at the back of the property and our feeders are near the house. I think I need to put some feeders near the woods, maybe. They are def. around here. Just never at my feeders. Still trying!

  22. So lovely to see the bluebirds again Laurie and the Del McCoury Band concert is wonderful! 💙

  23. Did I ever mention that I love your Friday Favourites? I get to experience new music (love bluegrass … remnants of my Southern past) and see the world through your eyes …

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