In the cold rain yesterday we caught this male Eastern Bluebird in between showers during Springbrook Nature Center's banding program. The female was close by and called for him until he was released after he was banded.
His blue color was very intense, contrasted with the rusty red breast.
During the banding process the wing feathers are inspected to determine which feathers have been molted recently, which helps determine age of birds caught.
It gives a chance to see the brilliant blue that these birds have on the upper part of their body.
By looking at these feathers it was determined that this bird was an after second year male, which means it hatched in 2012 or earlier.
With the habitat restoration project leaving many forested areas in Springbrook more open, bluebirds will have more areas to nest, and may increase in numbers over the next few years.
I hope so, as they are always a pleasure to see and hear.