One of the best parts of moving from urban Long Island-New York City to rural south central Virginia is learning about new wildlife, and my favorite new friend is the Eastern bluebird. Phil, our neighbor and friend, gave us a cedar bluebird house the first year we fenced in the vegetable garden. He explained how to hang it and to make sure it faced south so that the birds would like it. We didn't know anything at all about bluebirds, but I love bird watching and so John hung the house as instruction. That first year we had a family of bluebirds move in and two sets of babies born! My friend Joan gave me a bluebird house last year for my birthday, and John built two more. All of them are hanging on various pine trees and the fence post around the garden. We have had two occupied consistently these past several years, and two remain unoccupied. I don't think it is a coincidence that the two occupied houses are facing south, and the other two, southeast. I believe they are far enough apart so that the birds won't feel as if they are competing with each other; but who knows what goes through the mind of a bluebird?
This morning, the liquid trilling song of the bluebird woke me up at sunrise. I know that some people love the sound of roosters crowing, but for me, that bluebird song is the most country sound I know. Better than the beeping of the garbage trucks on Long Island or the wailing of sirens in New York City which were my typical wake up calls in my past life.
The bluebird inspired my essay today for MainLine Gardening. I hope you enjoy it. And if you live in an area where the Eastern bluebird lives, do provide a nesting box for them. They are beautiful, friendly, and eat garden bugs. Now that's a friend you want to keep.
For more information on the Eastern bluebird, visit: