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14 of the 15 (maybe more). It’s been a challenge to count them this year. In early December 2010, I was surprised and elated to see several bluebirds on a crab apple tree, eating the bittersweet berries from a vine that was attempting to smother the tree. We’d only seen a bluebird once in 25 years here in Salem NH, at least in our yard and it had been in June 2010. When I saw the small flock, I ran out and got some suet and mealworms to put in our fenced in backyard. All winter the group of 7 bluebirds visited everyday. In March they became very territorial and one pair nested somewhere in the vicinity of the yard, because in early May I saw the parents flying repeatedly to a tree with their beaks full of mealworms. I finally located two baby blues and got some pictures of them waiting and receiving food. In mid-July , the family disappeared and there were no bluebirds until, early December 2011. The flock that remained all winter numbered 9. This past summer after all the territorial fighting, a pair nested nearby, and in May we saw the parents making numerous flights back and forth to feed the nestlings. In June the babies appeared with their parents near the feeder and there were 4. We had occasional visits by the fledglings and the parents in June and July, until we noticed more repeated flights in early August beaks crammed with mealworms, but we never saw any fledglings. The bluebirds returned after an absence of about two months, in November this year, and we’ve been attempting to count them ever since. We’ve counted up to 15, but suspect there may be a few more. So, that’s my bluebird story and I’m having a great time observing them every day, photographing them (and all the other birds) and having them fly about me when I refresh the water or fill the feeders.
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