Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Bluebird Day

I've sometime wondered if we use the term "bluebird days" because the sky is the same as the male bluebirds rich color, or if we associate sunny days with a lot of bluebird activity.  Yesterday had a brilliantly blue sky, and I found overflowing bluebird activity. (Today is rainy and I saw only one distant bluebird.) Going with the first explanation, the birds put on a nice show for me.  This male bluebird quickly became accustomed to my proximity.

Center of interest for the male bluebird is the female who is checking out the available nest boxes.

Anytime you are around bluebird nest boxes in the spring, there is a conflict with the ever- present tree swallows, that greatly outnumber them. So, the bluebirds often take up a perch on a box and withstand the fly-bys from their antagonist. I've seen the male bluebird spread his wings to appear larger in face of the harassment. Yesterday, I saw a new behavior as the pair stood together with some degree of solidarity. 

I mentioned a second meaning to "bluebird days" relating to the sky color.  So, as I was photographing the birds, I became aware of an unusual aircraft sound.  It approached slowly with a broad seemingly widespread rumble. I realized it was directly overhead and looked up to see this. The sky really was close to the bluebird color.

It was a KC-10 wide body Air Force tanker with six A-10 Warthog fighters at a modest altitude performing a refueling exercise.  (The KC-10 is a modified DC-10.)  In a few seconds, one of A-10s moved into position under the tail of the tanker. The muffled sound I was hearing was the combined noise from fifteen engines. 

In my previous blog, I noted to expect the unexpected.  So true. 


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