Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mountain Bluebirds: A Saskatchewan Pair

Near the church in the valley, north of Regina, Saskatchewan:  I saw my first Mountain Bluebirds (of the year — and ever!) yesterday, near the lovely St. Nicholas Church, in the Qu'Appelle Valley.

The initial Mountain Bluebird to catch our attention was a male, checking out one of the nest boxes along the road a short distance northeast of the church.

It sat on the fence wire, then fluttered around the opening and flew up to the top of the box. (We stayed in the car, and watched for several minutes.)

The second (and third) Mountain Bluebirds were a pair in the churchyard itself, which we saw later in the morning, as we circled back through the valley on the way home.

(There is a nest box in the churchyard, too — but, yes, these locations are so close, these Mountain Bluebirds may have been the same birds. scouting locations...)

Mountain Bluebirds are small surprising gems — when you're not paying attention, they seem to blend invisibly with their surroundings... But once you focus close (zoom in, mentally or with camera), their colours are so intense (All About Birds calls the males "breathtakingly brilliant sky blue") that I feel compelled to say that I did very little with these photos. (A tiny bit of sharpening, and some correcting for the weird ISO levels I'd left the camera at — and that's it.)

Mountain Bluebird, on nest box  © SB
Close-up (same shot as above)
of Mountain Bluebird 
© SB  

View of the valley near the bluebirds (Facing SW;
above pix were taken of second box from left)
 © SB
Mountain Bluebird pair in the churchyard,
on/above gravestone west of the church © SB   

What are these?  Mountain Bluebirds.
Location: Northeast of Craven, near St. Nicholas Church in the Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan.
Photo date: April 14, 2012. 


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