The Velveteen Bluebird

In the early 90s my daughter wanted a playhouse. It took my husband about 18 months to build it – not because he’s a slackard, but because she was a demanding client. What she wanted was real windows that opened and closed, as well as lights and air conditioning. See what I mean?

The thing finally got built and we attached a bluebird box to one side. Unfortunately, the only bird that ever nested in it was a wren, who my daughter named “Wendy” in honor of the weather person on WHTN news. The play fort was destroyed in the great ice storm of 1994 when a pine tree fell on it and smashed it to smithereens. By that time, Angie had outgrown the fort.

Hang on. I’m getting to my point. Last year we put a bluebird box on our fence and its first resident was a chickadee. Early this spring we saw another chickadee take nesting material into the box. But then we saw a bluebird come out. The bluebird must have ejected the chickadee.

At the first of this week I watched as bluebirds flew near the house but avoided it at the last minute. So I guess the babies are raised and don’t want to go home again.

Today when I was outside, I saw a bluebird that was vivid blue. It looked as if his feathers were velveteen. I’d love to pet one just to see how the feathers feel. Maybe I can grab the salt shaker and sprinkle some on his tail so he can’t fly away. That’s what we tried to do as kids without success. But now I’m an adult.

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