Sunday Scribblings: Mating for Life

The Sunday Scribblings topic this week is wings.
Wings connect me to birds. Today I returned to mountain bluebirds. I grew up in Kellogg, Idaho and because of the Bunker Hill Smelter I was surrounded by toxic pollution. I don’t remember seeing many birds in our yard. Maybe robins were there in the spring, but other bird sightings were rare. As a child I would study colored pictures of bird species in the encyclopedia. I never observed any of these birds light on a lilac bush or peck a hole in our tree at our house.

The state bird of Idaho is the mountain bluebird. When we learned Idaho facts in school I loved seeing pictures of the mountain bluebird. I felt proud to have such a beautiful choice as a representative as our state bird. When we colored the mountain bluebird sheets I wanted to find just the right shade of crayon for that state bird as I outlined and filled in the blue wings.
During those childhood years I never saw a mountain bluebird. I would check the trees in the spring, hoping that year our state bird would appear. It never happened. When I moved to the home I live in now in Washington state I was able to birdwatch each day and see many species that were a part of those pages in the encyclopedia I remembered as a child. We set up birdhouses the second year of living in the house. That spring we were introduced to mountain bluebirds. In a birdhouse made for our wedding garden, the bluebirds took up residence and built a nest.

The part I love about mountain bluebirds is that they mate for life. When the bluebirds returned the next year to the wedding garden, we had to believe they were the same “couple”. How fitting that these mates returned to that garden to make a nest and have babies again. We had something in common. Like the bluebirds, my husband and I have mated for life.

The pictures in the encyclopedia were accurate. The crayon I used to color the state bird was right. Mountain bluebirds have the most spectacular color on their wings. What a joy to have a couple take up residence at your house.


  1. My parents have Eastern Bluebirds (with the red breasts), but as beautiful as that one is, I think this one is more spectacular!

  2. What a beautiful bird and so wonderful to have them in your garden!

  3. I would love to see one! (I did see a bluejay once on the 4th of July pass, but it's the only time I've seen a "blue" bird. If the sun hadn't hit it just right, I would have thought it was black).

    We have chickadees in our birdhouse, and have finches come our feeder. There are robins around and I have seen bald eagles over the river north of here. Occasionally, I see a bright yellow bird in my back yard, but so far - no blue birds.

    I also love blue birds (from pictures) and would love to have them nesting nearby. What a blessing!

  4. What a beautiful, dainty creature. It's good to have nice neighbours like that!

  5. Last year or the year before I was walking along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes between Kellogg and Smelterville, and there was a bluebird hopping along the fence on the the side of the trail. It is the first time I remember seeing one. It was so beautiful.

  6. I'm from Pocatello and my husband grew up in Mullan and Coeur d'Alene so it was great to be reminded of the beautiful and illusive bluebird! I've only seen one once high up in the mountains. Nice post.
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  7. How sweet that the mountain bluebirds mate for life.
    We mainly have bluejays here in this Southern California Inland Empire - I'm not sure of their mating habits, but you've inspired me to find out now.

    Great post.


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