Thrush family (Turdidae)
Small for a thrush, 5 ½” long. Male (right in image) – rich blue back. Female (left in image ) – grayer. Red orange throat, neck, breast, and flanks; contrasting white belly.
Fields, forest edges, and open woodlands.
Cavity nester. Nests in cavities of dead trees or artificial nest boxes. Eggs are pale blue. Clutch size – 3 to 6 eggs.
Song is a soft but musical series of downslurred low-pitched whistles, “tury cherwee cheye-ley”. Call is a mellow “turwee”.
Sialis, Greek for “a kind of bird”
In the Nature Park:
Year-round resident. Eastern Bluebirds use the artificial nest boxes in the open meadows at the Nature Park, but are often displaced by the more aggressive House Wrens. Eastern Bluebird eggs are pale blue (image source 2) In 2006, there were two active Bluebird nests in the artificial nest boxes - both were successful. In 2008, there were two Bluebird nests initiated but neither one was successful - one was abandoned and one was depredated.
1 - Degraaf, R.M. et al. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States. Natural history and habitat use. Agriculture Handbook 688.
2 - Fox, Vanessa. Biology Department, DePauw University.