The bluebird is the traditional symbol of spring, one of the earliest arrivals to northern bird feeders at the end of winter. Right now, however, they’re ours, part of our wonderful Winter Wonderland of windows flung open to balmy breezes, colorful forests of changeling swamp maples and golden cypress trees, and the chorale of migratory birds filling our woodlands, fields and yards with song. Among my favorites are the flocks of bluebirds brightening fields, treelines and fence posts, flitting skyward in cheerful feathery flashes of azure, nature’s Christmas ornaments brightening the yellowing boughs of cypress trees and the brown leaf litter.
“If bluebirds were people,” wrote Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson in their 1991 book Bluebirds (Bt Bound ), “they would be respected citizens who raise their families with exemplary devotion, lead productive lives, and contribute generously to charities. And they would surely be featured soloists in church choirs on Sunday mornings! ”
They require some patience to see, and that’s the real gift of the bluebird – the reward for waiting quietly at the edge of a field or forest, letting your eyes adjust to the small details, your mind settle into the awareness of natural space and your soul open to the life that fills that space.
They may be the first sign of spring in the northern latitudes, but here in Florida, bluebirds are a wonderful sign of winter!