Winter is losing its grip. Valley snow is vanishing and the trees are alive with twittering. Trumpeter Swans and Bohemian Waxwings have flown north to their breeding grounds. Meanwhile Wild Turkey males are displaying and swallows and bluebirds are arriving.
In March, two species of bluebirds arrive: mountain and western. Mountain Bluebirds are the more common and breed throughout the provincial interior. Western Bluebirds only sneak into a small portion of the southern interior. So, it was a bit of a surprise that the first bluebirds seen this year were westerns.
Yesterday, a Western Bluebird couple sat together on a fence post. The male is on the left and the female on the right. The post was within metres of a nest box set up by welcoming locals.
From the post, the birds would fly the short distance to the nest box. This is standard bluebird practice: alight away from the nest; watch for predators and, when all is clear, fly to the nest.
This seems to have been a recognizance mission: “Will this be a suitable place to raise our family?”
“Yep, this will do just fine.”