Bluebirds   Gary A. Beluzo
  Jan 04, 2005 11:31 PST 


This is off track but it is at least tangentially related to trees and
forests. The other day Bob Leverett and I saw a flock of bluebirds along
the Westfield River near the Westfield/Russell line. Is that unusual for
this time of year? My understanding was that bluebirds were insectivorous
and went south for the winter?


RE: Trouble in the Forests   edward coyle
  Jan 04, 2005 12:24 PST 


Bluebirds are generally insectivorous, but in winter they depend mostly on
fruits. They do migrate south from their breeding range which goes well into
Canada. Many go no further than southern NY,PA.

RE: Trouble in the Forests
  Jan 04, 2005 13:11 PST 
If you ever want to see where the robins go in winter, come to SE Pa! We have many 50+ year old American hollies on the property, and there are literally hundreds of robins here all winter snacking away. A positive result is the appearance of many new hollies in the woods in the vicinity. We have a bunch of bluebirds in the area during their season, I think they go a little further south than here for winter.

bluebirds   robie hubley
  Jan 04, 2005 15:46 PST 


They're great to see, anyway. Bluebirds declined but have been recovering
since the mid-1980s. In addition to the usual places where we find
bluebirds nesting, they like dead trees in beaver swamps. Maybe they've
been helped by the recovery of beavers.

Like their relatives robins, bluebirds shift to fruit for the winter. Some
bluebirds and robins migrate no farther south than to get out of the snow
or find berries for winter food.

Sam [Sorry, I hit a wring key and sent the incomplete message off into the
sunset, but to continue...] Sam Eliot, the dean of Connecticut Valley
birders, says most bluebirds depart early in November but some remain in
sheltered places throughout mild winters. Some early return migrants
arrive in February, making it hard to know then which are winter-overs and
which are early returns.

Yours are late though, I'd say.

Thank you for the observation.