A shadow flits across the yard, catching my eye as I sit at my desk working, but also viewing the street. I’ve been waiting for these shadows to appear. They are the bluebirds who come to feast on the holly berries on the shrubs right outside my window.

A maple stands in the center of the yard. A river birch anchors a corner of the yard next to the house. Bare branches beckon the bluebirds to come, observe, and plot their attack on the bushes.

Horizontal blinds cover the double window. The slats interfere with my vision so I raise the blinds all the way to the top. Screens blur my view on the lower half of the window, but the top half is clear. My camera sits on the desk, waiting for the fluttering activity to begin.

Prior to raising the blinds, birds were flitting and flying back and forth. Quick motions difficult to capture through the blinds. Patiently I continue to work, looking up to see if I can spot the bluebirds. I work all afternoon. Not. One. Bird. Appears. Slowly I lower the blinds, as dusk begins to descend. No photo today.

I wonder if the birds saw something in my window that scared them away. Perhaps the window reflection was too bright. I just know I was sorely disappointed not to capture an image.

Days later, I was once again working at my desk. One bluebird sat in the river birch pondering the berries below. Stealthily, I crept to the window. Placed the camera in between the slats, zoomed the lens of my camera, snap, snap. I caught him, this time. I wish the colors were brighter, but I am happy to have this image. I will keep trying to get the next best shot.

bluebird 1

bluebird 2


22 thoughts on “Bluebirds

  1. tam says:

    Nothing like watching the fragile birds survive the cold and snow. Great pictures. We feed them, too, and they let us know when they’re out of seed!

  2. Sara says:

    Beautiful! I love birds, I think they are such interesting creatures. Interesting to see how different pet parrots and wild birds can be. I have a Sun Conure and he is a total ham. Craves attention. On the other hand, wild birds are so flighty that we have to be quick and stealthy to get a good look! 🙂

  3. Ooh, I always love your nature slices, Elsie! We just enjoyed bluebirds visiting the suet feeder at my parents’ house over the weekend! They are such sweet, cute little birds.

  4. I could of written this exact post! I’ve been looking for bluebirds and bought a special feeder for them this fall. However, I spent my snow days earlier this month at my kitchen bay window and did the same – blinds, screens, up , down, between. I caught a few shots but not as many as I would of liked. If you use a smartphone I found could brighten them up easily with instagram filters.

  5. Judy C. says:

    Those little buggers are quicker than the eye, but you captured them without them being aware. Love the close up and your patience.

  6. Elsie,
    Did you see the post on Two Writing Teachers about erasure poetry?
    I did it with your post. Here is my/your poem:


    A shadow flits
    catching my eye.
    I’ve been waiting for these shadows to appear.
    The bluebirds come to feast on the holly berries.
    A maple, a river birch, bare branches
    beckon the bluebirds to come,
    My camera sits on the desk, waiting.
    Patiently I work all afternoon.
    No photo today.
    Days later,
    One bluebird, snap, snap.
    I caught him,
    this time.

  7. Have you seen Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, written and illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate? Your post made me think of how much you’d just love this book if you haven’t seen it.

  8. Believe it or not, when I read your post about driving, I thought that it’s been a while since you wrote about birds. I love your bird posts. I got my wish. With pics! You have the eye and patience of a bird observer.

  9. Great post. For a few years we had a cardinal and a blue jay that would visit the tree in our front yard. There splotch of bright color was always a welcome sight, especially on a cold winter’s day.

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