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sialia sialis
january 01, 2005
Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis: the eastern bluebird
The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

~ Henry David Thoreau

The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression.

~ Gary Larson

About 20 bluebirds descended on the pokeweed around the west side of the house in the afternoon, stripping the pokeweed of its greasy black berries. This is more bluebirds in one place than most people see in a lifetime.

Bluebirds generally are stand-offish, usually just an azure and red streak arcing over the road. These bluebirds could not abide by any commotion in the house within 5 feet of the window. The cats milled around, jockeying for a better view, and Ben in particular yammered and bleeped in that brainless manner cats do at amused birds through the window glass. The bluebirds repeatedly scattered to the elms in the hedgerow.

When Snooples jumped up on the windowsill and began smooching the mullions, the whole lot of them disappeared as quickly as they showed up, leaving behind the usual suspects: fire engine-red cardinals, fat-headed chickadees, and the little brown balls with legs that we call sparrows. And the bluejays hopping and swearing and yelling "yer mother!" as the bluebirds sailed off.

Photo: Sialia sialis: the eastern bluebird
Note: Listen to an eastern bluebird

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