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A Bluebird Family

 Bluebirds are of course beautiful but they are particularly beloved because they live in our yards where we can observe their daily activities. If you will put up a suitably sized nest box with a door that can be opened to observe the contents periodically, you will be privy to the secret lives of bluebirds. This is also handy to be sure that all is well inside the nest. We have 25 boxes around our property which house bluebirds and tree swallows, but one positioned close to our house is a favorite site for observations of a bluebird family. The babies of the current clutch are about half grown now and both adults rush around gathering food. Here the female has a large beetle grub and the male seems to have a bee. They make regular trips to the nest to feed the young. All in all a beautiful domestic scene and particularly satisfying since this is one species that seems often to benefit from the presence of humans. Considering that birds are now considered to be the descendants of dinosaurs, it also makes you wonder what family lives were like for those giants of the Mesozoic. 

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Bill Dunson 
wdunson@comcast.net