Greetings Bluebird Friends!
Birds migrate because they are a prisoner of the menu and when nothing is available they hit the road. This means our bluebirds in Northern Wisconsin fly south for the winter. Kentucky bluebirds stay put all year, and bounties of bluebirds are seen in Georgia throughout the winter months (sometimes coming from Wisconsin!). With our bluebird team in Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Georgia, we are experiencing all the ranges of Eastern Bluebirds – Breeding, Winter, and Year-Round.
This month in Wisconsin, our bluebirds are getting prepared to migrate south. They are finishing up their last brood and cleaning out their summer home. They return North every Spring to the same area to mate and return to the same Southern area for the Fall/Winter.
For Bluebird Landlords, this means completely cleaning out the nestboxes in case the songbirds need shelter during inclement weather. We then check on box(es) in late February early March to ensure the nestboxes are ready for the birds’ return in late winter.
In Kentucky, I’m experiencing my first bluebird season where bluebirds stay year-round. On the 6 nestbox trail, 26 songbirds have fledged. Observing nature gives me the opportunity to reflect on the true blessings I have experienced while migrating to Kentucky in February 2020.
Providing shelter for year-round bluebirds is much different than our experiences in Wisconsin. This spring my father planted berry producing plants as a winter food source for the bluebirds. To help songbirds survive the winter, we’ll have to revamp our Bed & Breakfast – since this is our first season of wintering together, some research needs to be done. More to come on how winterizing our nestboxes goes! Check this link out to see what steps we will be taking this Kentucky winter! NWF - Creating Cozy Winter Birdhouses
In Georgia, Krista will experience living where many of the bluebirds from the north migrate for winter. It is said that bluebird populations grow 100% in the winter months.
When I learned of Georgia’s Bluebird population increase over the winter, my curiosity was sparked… What will Krista witness when the Eastern Bluebirds return to Georgia? Will she notice the population increase? How are the Bluebird Babes/Landlords in Wisconsin doing on their bluebird trails? As the season winds down, the team and I have learned to embrace the ambiguity of nature and our own lives.
Much has been uprooted indefinitely amidst the uncertainty of this time, it is our bluebirds that have stayed consistently focused on surviving and thriving. In Wisconsin and Kentucky pay attention to your nestboxes as the families that fledged from your bed and breakfast will return to their birth site… gather as a family, fuel up on insects and berries before they start to travel south. It is a beautiful sight all those blues gathering for migration. This might be the first migration for some, and others perhaps their 5th year. Over the years, I’ve told myself if those Bluebirds can make the migration journey, then I too can find the strength to do what needs to be done in order to survive and thrive!
Hang in there friends. Keep birding!