ARTISTS AND BIRDS

"A Touch of Blue"

Mountain Bluebirds

mountain bluebird

    I love seeing the first light of dawn. You never know what the day will bring, so the sooner I wake the better I like it. Let me tell you about one of those days. Early in the morning I looked out into our backyard and saw spots of blue everywhere. Mountain Bluebirds were in our pasture! Storms raging in mid December had covered the Bluebirds natural winter habitat with snow; alternate feeding grounds like the Washington fields were covered with subdivisions, so what better place for Bluebirds to go than Bloomington Ranches. Seeing Mountain Bluebirds feeding in my backyard was a new high for me.

The Bluebirds were on top of the sprinkler heads, the fences, and the fence posts. These spectacular bundles of blue feathers were performing their distinctive feeding habit of landing on high places, swooping down to the ground for prey, and then back up to their high perch again. We spent the morning watching Mountain Bluebirds.

This year on the Zion Christmas Bird Count, at the East Entrance (our area), there was nary a Bluebird seen. In previous years this location has been home to Mountain Bluebirds. With a foot of snow blanketing the ground, and heavy fog all morning, I think the Mountain Bluebirds all flew to warmer areas. In years past we have seen them in the open fields at Dammeron Valley, on the north side of the highway east of Veyo, and the area between Upper and Lower Sandcove. They were in groups of about 30 to 50 birds. Each time we see flocks of Mountain Bluebirds in southern Utah it gives us a mental taste of WOW! Hopefully you will be as lucky as my honey and me to have a day in your life sparkling with blue. Marilyn Davis is the artist for the Mountain Bluebird.

The St. George Winter Bird Festival is January 29, 30, 31, and February 1, 2009. Pick up a schedule at the BLM, the Recreation Center, or go on line at redcliffsaudubon.org or sgcity.org/birdfestival/. Four days for presentations, tours, workshops, photo contest, and loving the outdoors. Give yourself and your family a treat. All events are free to the public, except the food at the banquet. For further information call Marilyn Davis at 435 673-0996.






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