Empty Nest Syndrome

Last week, my four fledgling bluebirds left the nest unceremoniously disappearing into the wilderness sorrounding Rauhallinen Farm. Benny and I experienced great joy in watching the entire process, from parents selecting the nest box, building the nest, to raising their brood of four chicks (however, as a canine, I suspect his motives were a tad different from those of his owner). There are significant bluebird resources to learn from on the web, The Kalamazoo Nature Center offering substantial links and information. Additionally, The Birds of Michigan (editor: Gail McPeck), a very expensive and heavy hardcover with exquisite watercolors to support the species documentation, provides a very adequate species description, including habitat, breeding, and lifestyle. Beautiful birds to watch. I was particularly impressed by the diligence of the male in helping with food procurement, nest building, and nest guarding while the female was out to catch insects. This species requires an open flyway, in that they are insect eaters. A much better gig to watch than television....