Eugene Birders Night, Southern Willamette Ornithological Club(SWOC) Monday October 2nd, 7 pm Birding Northern Colombia:…
Photos by Steve Gordon
Once described as a common Oregon bird in the 1930s, the Western Bluebird experienced dramatic population declines by the 1970s. In part, assisted by artificial bluebird projects, the species made a recovery. Preferred cavity nesting habitat in western Oregon is open country, including oak woodlands, and rural farmlands. It appears that Western Bluebirds are now using city habitats.
Several nesting records in Eugene occurred in 2022. Our home in the Friendly neighborhood is such a case. Developed at suburban densities in the late 1950s, our lot is about 1/4-acre in size with a garden consisting of organic vegetable raised beds and a hummingbird-, butterfly-, and bee-friendly flower garden. Trees, shrubs, seed feeders, and six bird baths provide an attractive, urban habitat for birds. We have three bluebird boxes mounted on 4”x4” posts along our south fence line.
In 2022, for the first time in our 47 years residing in our home, Western Bluebirds nested successfully, raising two broods of five young each. This year, a month ahead of the 2022 schedule, they raised a brood of six young. We are waiting to see if a second or even third brood will be attempted.
These photographs were taken hand held with a Canon Powershot SX50 HS camera. They represent many of the behaviors and the joyous beauty of this thrush family member.
By Steve Gordon