Eastern Bluebirds are at it again, courting in preparation for their nesting season. I’ve been hearing them sound off for about two weeks, so I went out this morning, hoping to videotape one in full song. The result was not what I expected.
Upon arriving at my destination just after sunrise, I heard and then spotted a singing male and headed toward his perch. Just as I got there, he flew to another perch and commenced singing again. I followed, but then he flew to another perch, then another, then another. How frustrating is that? He never sang from one spot long enough for me to get anything. So I finally gave up and instead pointed my camera at a lone female, who was just sitting on a limb minding her own business.
“A little footage of a perched female is better than none at all,” I remember thinking, even though the scene was not particularly exciting.
I let the camera roll for about a minute and then turned it off, ready to head home for the day. But just as I hit the off button, the female started quivering her wings. I knew something was up, so I immediately turned the camera back on. And none too soon. The male suddenly arrived with a worm in his mouth and then proceeded to feed the worm to his mate. Holy smoke … I just documented “mate feeding” behavior in the Eastern Bluebird. What good fortune indeed.
Capturing intimate bird behavior is not easy, and often happens accidentally, just as it did in this case. Targeting this behavior would have been an exercise in futility. But sometimes luck is on my side, as it surely was this early spring morn!
Great video clip! Thanks for sharing!
My all time favorite little bird in the northern hemisphere! This video is beautiful. Thank you!
I just caught up with this video Lang. It’s great! I didn’t know that Eastern Bluebirds courted in this way. I’ve been watching a male Northern Cardinal feed a female at my bird feeders lately. So sweet to see!
Beautifully done, perfect little video. What a pleasure to watch and hear!
So interesting that she flutters her wings like a baby bird! this is very cool!
me encanta su trabajo y como ornitomúsico podríamos hacer trabajos interesantes de investigación como la ornitomúsica de las aves,quizá algún día lo consigamos.thanks
thank you Senén!
He seemed to puff up with pride after he gave her that worm.
yes, I noticed that too!
They are so cute. You were really lucky to have this shot.
yes, very lucky, and now I want more!
Sweet – so glad you got that segment, Lang. It really made my day!
Oh they are so sweet! I hope sometime you can capture the ever-popular wing-waving bluebird behavior! Thanks for the beautiful, as ever, video!
Marilyn: Oh … I’d love to get wing-waving. Maybe in the next few weeks, luck be with me. I really need lots more classy bluebird footage. They are such a popular bird, eye and ear candy for anyone who loves nature. And I have precious little footage in my collection.
This made my day again – thank you so much! I love how their eyes sparkle ~ you have a steady hand for filming.
I can hardly wait for the Mountain Bluebirds to show up here (in Central Oregon)…we have two nestboxes they have used for 15 years. I just simply adore them. There is nothing in the world like their blue ~ nothing.
Wish I could fly out there to film them, but not this year … I am staying close to home. But I have a dream, and that is to acquire a nice camper van and then spend several years traveling about in the US and Canada, filming birds and frogs and whatever else that I stumble upon. And blogging like crazy as I do it! Maybe even documenting the trip with audio podcasts!
Well, it is obviously past time to clean out the bluebird houses. I have heard the bluebirds singing around our property for at least a week. Actually, I am sure they breed in one of our hollow trees as they always ignore our houses. The “bluebird houses” shelter tree swallows and house wrens instead. They are welcome too.
(No I still haven’t done the Gravatar thing…)
Re: Gravatar? … well … just do it for chrissakes!
Re: The Video … I almost missed the mate feeding entirely. Sure glad I turned the camera back on when I saw the quivering.
Haha, too cute how they first share their meal and then both look the other way as if they don’t know each other!
Well … I don’t know about “sharing”. She got 99% of the worm and he got “just a taste”. Is that what they call “fair trade” these days?