Bluebird’s March Notes Brighten Drab Spring Days

John Burroughs Poem, ‘The Bluebird’ Paints Beautiful Vision of the Beloved Bluebird

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You never forget the first bird you learn to identify and who you were with and what you were doing at that exact moment, and for me, that special bird is the Eastern Bluebird.

I’ve never taken these beautiful songbirds for granted when I see them out in the wild or when I’m lucky enough to have a pair nesting in my yard.

Each appearance they’re just as thrilling to see as the first time.

It’s exciting seeing bluebirds because they symbolize something good that is about to come into your life.

Attracting Bluebirds

Bluebirds are not inclined to visit feeders since they’re insect eaters, and often my offering of mealworm goes without reward.

Attracting these stunning blue beauties for me as house guests for the summer is as simple as maintaining a pesticide-free lawn where bugs, worms, and creepy crawlies lurk.

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Male Eastern Bluebird enjoying one of its favorite meals: a tasty worm

The Eastern Phoebes and Eastern-Wood Pewees are two other fly-catchers that enjoy their bugs and worms au natural.

And in return, bluebirds, and other fly-catchers provide me with superior natural pest control.

Releasing chemicals into nature is never an option for me as I enjoy providing a safe haven for birds and other wildlife.

Bluebirds are Uplifting

What thrills me the most about bluebirds is their vivid colors throughout the year.

There’s nothing like seeing the bright blue of a bluebird pop against the backdrop of trees or green grass in the summer.

And they’re such a welcome sight on a bright March morning when everything else looks so drab.

Hearing the bluebird’s first spring song notes, it feels quite prophetic and uplifting as if predicting good fortune.

Cole Porter describes these beautiful songs birds best, “Be like the bluebird who never is blue, for he knows from his upbringing what singing can do.”

READ: THE BROWN THRASHER IN THE WORDS OF NATURIST JOHN BURROUGHS

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Female bluebirds lack the vivid colors of males and are grayish above with bluish wings and tail, and a subdued orange-brown breast

Male Bluebirds are Chivalrous

I admire how male bluebirds are such happy and devoted husbands escorting their mates at all times.

As soon as I see a female bluebird in the yard, I quickly look for the bright flash of blue, knowing the male is nearby.

Recently a Blue Jay was harassing my pair of bluebirds in the yard.

The male bluebird kept the jay away from his mate using his smaller size, flying in and out of trees to attack and frustrate the bigger bird.

Chivalry isn’t dead in the bird world.

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The great American naturist John Burroughs captured the beauty of the Eastern Bluebird in his poem, ‘The Bluebird’

John Burroughs ‘The Bluebird’

The beauty of the Eastern Bluebird is best captured in the words of the great American naturist John Burroughs.

Through his lyrical writing, Burroughs championed the preservation of open spaces and the natural world.

His work was admired by Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Burroughs and Roosevelt, our 26th president, shared a love of birds, and they went bird-watching together in the nation’s capital.

Read on to enjoy the poem, ‘The Bluebird’ from Burroughs’ book, ‘Bird Stories from Burroughs.’

He paints a beautiful vision of the beloved bluebird.

THE BLUEBIRD

by John Burroughs

A wistful note from out the sky,
Pure, pure, pure,” in plaintive tone,
As if the wand’rer were alone,
And hardly knew to sing or cry.

But now a flash of eager wing,
Flitting, twinkling by the wall,
And pleadings sweet and am’rous call,

Ah,
now I know his heart doth sing!

O bluebird, welcome back again,
Thy azure coat and ruddy vest
Are hues that April loveth best,

Warm skies above the furrowed plain.

The farm boy hears thy tender voice,
And visions come of crystal days,
With sugar-camps in maple ways.
And scenes that make his heart rejoice.

The lucid smoke drifts on the breeze.
The steaming pans are mantling white,
And thy blue wing’s a joyous sight.
Among the brown and leafless trees.

Now loosened currents glance and run,
And buckets shine on sturdy boles,
The forest folk peep from their holes,
And work is play from sun to sun.

The downy beats his sounding limb,
The nuthatch pipes his nasal call,
And Robin perched on treetop tail
Heavenward lifts his evening hymn.

Now go and bring thy homesick bride,
Persuade her here is just the place
To build a home and found a race
In Downy’s cell, my lodge beside.


Learn more about John Burroughs and his works at the John Burroughs Association at http://www.johnburroughsassociation.org/

If you’re traveling through the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York, be sure to stop and visit John Burroughs’ Slabsides and Nature Sanctuary at Floyd Ackert Road in West Park, NY.

Get directions to Slabsides here.

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