Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
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Quotes related to Bluebirds

(Alphabetized [sort of] by the first key word)

  • A bluebird box is perhaps the easiest and most rewarding way to do something good for the environment.
    - Michigan Bluebird Society
  • A man's interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town.
    - Letter, November 22, 1858, from Henry D. Thoreau to Daniel Ricketson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, 1906
  • A certain traveler who knew many continents was asked what he found most remarkable of all. He replied: the ubiquity of sparrows.
    Adam Zagajewski, Another Beauty, 2002
  • About the time we first hear the Robin's ringing welcome to spring we may listen for the Bluebird's more gentle greeting. No bird's song is more associated with the return of Spring than the Bluebird's: nor is there a bird's note more expressive of the passing season than the Bluebird's Autumn call of far-away, far-away.
    - Frank M. Chapman, Birdlife, 1897

  • After 24 years of supplying housing for my EABLs that first egg of the season is still a THRILL!
    - Glenn Williams, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • All bluebirders must feel like "one of the chosen ones" when we are fortunate enough to have nesting bluebirds on our own property....
    - Lillian Lund, Sialia, 1984
  • All solutions to HOSP control have drawbacks, but not controlling them at all has the greatest drawback.
    - Cherie Layton, The Bluebird Nut, 2006
  • Always keep in mind that the nestboxes you build, install and monitor today, may well be your very real connection to friends and loved ones long after you are gone.
    - David Gwin, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • And when he sings to you, Though you're deep in blue, You will see a ray of light creep through,
    And so remember this, life is no abyss, Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness. Life is sweet, tender and complete, when you find the bluebird of happiness.
    - Bluebird of Happiness, lyrics by Edward Heyman & Harry Parr Davies, 1934
  • Anytime you lose a bluebirder ...you realize how important it is for us to reach out like they have over the years and share their knowledge with the younger generation or actually ANYONE interested in helping these small cavity nesters.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • As a first-time bluebird monitor, I am alternately mesmerized, mystified, and petrified. Until now, I never gave much thought about how the day-to-day existence of wildlife is so perilous and fragile. What an education!
    - Donna Spray, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • As long as there are bluebirds, there will be miracles and a way to find happiness.
    - Shirl Brunnel, I Hear Bluebirds, 1984
  • As might be expected of creatures so heavenly in color, the disposition of bluebirds is particularly angelic. Gentleness and amiability are expressed in their soft musical voice. Tru-al-ly, tru-al-ly, they sweetly assert when we can scarcely believe that spring is here; tru-wee, tur-wee they softly call in autumn when they go roaming through the countryside in flocks of azure.
    - Neltje Blanchan, Birds Worth Knowing, 1917
  • As one bluebird landlord to another, you should know that you aren't alone. Most of us have lost a "favorite" bird who had been with us for a long time. It hurts like heck
    - Malinda Matsuko, Bluebirding Forum, 2007
  • As the pressure of population increasingly regiments us and crowds us closer together, an association with the wild, winged freedom of the birds will fill an ever growing need in our lives.
    - Edwin Way Teale, introduction to Songbirds in Your Garden, 1953
  • At some point, my "bluebird" trails ceased to be bluebird trails per se, and just became "nestbox trails"-with lots of different houses, and lots of different species.
    - Jim Walters, Bluebird_L, 1999
  • The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
    - William Beebe, 1906
  • Because of the irreversibility of mixing formerly isolated species, biological invasions may have even more drastic effects than climate change.
    - Mooney & Cleland 2001
  • Because the bluebird is beautiful and readily accepts the help of humans, and, because people love to nurture beautiful animals, especially those that are endearing, a strong natural bond is forged between man and the bluebird at the nest box. In many cases, that relationship not only lasts a lifetime but also grows into a greater awareness of the plight of all wild animals and the plant kingdom on which all animals depend.
    - Gary Springer, NABS Director, 2005
  • Be like the bluebird who never is blue,
    For he knows from his upbringing what singing can do
    - Cole Porter, Be Like the Bluebird, 1934
  • Besides the fact that birds are colorful, easy to see in the sky, they are an important indicator of how healthy our environment is.
    - Milan Bull, CT Audubon Society, 2007
  • Biological invasions are of major conservation concern, second only to habitat destruction as a cause of species extinctions.
    - Kelly A. Lee et al, Responding to inflammatory challenges is less costly for a successful avian invader....
  • A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
    - Joan Walsh Anglund, A Cup of Sun, 1967
  • The bird feeder is a premium channel
    - Jim Shea, Hartford Courant, 2010

  • Birds are the most vivid expression of life
    - epitaph Roger Tory Peterson chose for his tombstone.
  • Bird species either have to change and adapt in an ecological "blink of the eye" to humans and or disease, predators, competitors or change in habitat or they will "wink" out forever.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2010
  • Birds are wonderful indicators of our overall environmental health, and as the environment is stressed and biodiversity reduced through habitat degradation and loss, the most sensitive species send out the signal first.
    - David Seideman, Audubon magazine, 2005
  • Birds have a way of putting things in perspective. They forge ahead and carry on no matter what happens. No dwelling on the past, no regrets, sheer 100% survival..and beauty.
    - Susan Halpin, 2008
  • The birds richly repay you for the trouble you take in attracting them and looking out for their interests.
    - Joseph H. Dodson, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them, 1928
  • The blue and russet colors shone like precious gems against the backdrop of white and silver and gray.
    - John Boone, from Dr. Lawrence Zeleny, An Odyssey of Love, 1980

  • Bluebirders have a quickness in their step and a twinkle in their eye.
    - Keith Radel, MN Bluebird Recovery Project
  • Bluebirds are living, breathing gifts from God and if we are to offer housing to them, we must be prepared to offer the safest situation we can.
    - Ninapearl, 2005
  • Bluebird conservation offers an unusual opportunity for people who are truly concerned about our wildlife heritage to accomplish something by means of direct action.
    - Larry Zeleny, The Bluebird, How you can Help Its Fight for Survival, 1976
  • The Bluebird's disposition is typical of all that is sweet and amiable. His song breathes of love; even his fall call-note - tur-wee, tur-wee - is soft and gentle. so associated is his voice with the bird and death of the seasons that to me his song is freighted with all the gladness of springtime, while the sad notes of the birds passing southward tell me more plainly than the falling leaves that the year is dying.
    - Frank M. Chapman, Birds of Eastern North America, 1924
  • The bluebird carries the sky on his back.
    - Henry David Thoreau, Journal, April 3, 1852
  • The bluebird enjoys the preeminence of being the first bit of color that cheers our northern landscape. The other birds that arrive about the same time--the sparrow, the robin, the phoebe-bird--are clad in neutral tints, gray, brown, or russet; but the bluebird brings one of the primary hues and the divinest of them all.
    - John Burroughs, Wake-Robin, first published in 1871
  • Bluebirders need to think "inside the box."
    - Doug Zimmerman, 2006
  • Bluebirds have taught me a few things. First, the more you think you know, the more you have to learn. Second, never say never because they will fool you every time! Third, they have taught me to stop sweating details in my life and learn to enjoy the simple things. There are things far greater than ourselves out there, going on unnoticed right before our eyes.
    - Malinda Matsuko, Bluebirder, 2005
  • The Bluebird is a Cut Above all others. He seeks nothing in return for his superior being. For his unique color and personality he ask not for special favors. He appreciates your admiration and thanks you for your help. The fact, that in his world, you cared for him is the only fact that mattered.
    - Wendell Long, 2005
  • A bluebird, famous for the scrap of sky
    Borne on his back - an indigo so bright
    That just a glimpse of his distinctive flight,
    All swoop and flurry, captivates the eye ...
    - George Bradley, "New Yorker", p. 146, Mar. 19, 2001
  • Bluebird flying high,
    Tell me what you sing.
    If you could talk to me,
    What news would you bring
    Of voices in the sky?
    - The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord, lyrics from Voices in the Sky, Justin Hayward, 1968
  • The bluebird, instantly winsome to young and old alike and to people of modern and traditional sensibilities alike, is American idealism personified - a flying piece of sky, a living poem, a crystal note, an emblem of nature's moral conscience.
    - Stanwyn G Shetler, forward to Larry Zeleny's The Bluebird, How you can Help Its Fight for Survival, 1975
  • The bluebird is one of the most familiar tenants of the farm and dooryard. Its favorite nesting sites are crannies in the farm buildings or boxes made for its use of natural cavities in old apple trees. For rent the bird pays amply by destroying insects, and takes no toll from the farms crop. The largest items of insect food are grasshoppers first and beetles next, while caterpillars stand third. The vegetable food consists chiefly of fruit pulp, only an insignificant portion are from cultivated varieties.
    - USDA Farmers Bulletin #513, 1913
  • The bluebird is well named, for he wears a coat of the purest, richest, and most gorgeous blue on back, wings, and tail; no North American bird better deserves the name, for no other flashes before our admiring eyes so much brilliant blue.
    - Arthur C. Bent, 1949
  • Bluebirds not only accept the help of humans, they absolutely need it.
    - Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson, Bluebirds, 1991
  • Bluebirds are all along the roadsides this morning--a windless, warm, October day. They are gathered socially in companies of half a dozen or more and keep near together like a big family, one bird following another when it flies. They are quietly musical as they flit about, giving the gentle whit call, the softer chatter, the velvety turwy , and sometimes a phrase of song.
    - A.C. Bent quoting Dr. Winsor M. Tylor , Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds, 1949
  • The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression
    - Gary Larson
  • The Bluebird, shifting his light load of song
    From post to post along the cheerless fence...
    - Under the Willows, by James Russell Lowell
  • The bluebird, while symbolic of hope and happiness, is also a totem of the environmental movement, which is the chronicle of how adverse consequences too often stemmed from the uninformed actions of the well-intentioned.
    - Jon Boone, one of the founders of NABS, designer of their first brochure, and former editor of the NABS journal Sialia
  • a Bluebird trail has an active life span that is determined only by the number of HOSP that the neighbors can raise over the years
    - Phil Berry, Bluebird_L, 2010

  • Bluebirders are what is right about this world.
    - Al Batt
  • Blue skies Smiling at me
    Nothing but blue skies Do I see
    Bluebirds Singing a song
    Nothing but bluebirds All day long
    - Irving Berlin, Blue Skies, 1927
  • Bluebirding trailwork is exciting. Never are two days exactly alike! You just never know what is going to happen or what you are going to see
    - Fread J. Loane, Bluebird_L, 2009
  • Bluebirds will often stand their ground when they are out in the open. But in a confined space they are simply no match for the House Sparrow.
    - Dave Kinneer, Bluebird_L (see battles photos)
  • The bright blue flash of a male bluebird in the sunlight is often the kind of magic that sparks people's interest so much that it moves them to put up a nestbox and monitor the progress all spring and summer. The up close and personal joy of observing bluebirds is so gratifying that it keeps mointors coming back year after year for a lifetime.
    - Jonathan Ridgeway, Bluebird, 2007

  • ... a bird in the open never looks Like its picture in the birdie books - Or if it once did, it has changed its plumage, And plunges you back into ignorant gloomage.
    - Ogden Nash, Up from the Egg: The Confessions of a Nuthatch Avoider.
  • But no blue, not even the brightest summer sky, seems as blue as the bluebirds of spring.
    - Ron Hirschi
  • But there be others, happier few, The vagabondish sons of God,
    Who know the by-ways and the flowers, And care not how the world may plod.
    They idle down the traffic lands, And loiter through the woods with spring;
    To them the glory of the earth Is but to hear a bluebird sing.
    - From The Mendicants, Bliss Carman (1861–1929)
  • But you, you will know why the bluebird has returned.
    - Andre Dion, The Return of the Bluebird (Le Retour de L'Oiseau Bleu), 1981
  • Cease to violate the laws of nature, and of nature's God, by the destruction of these his creatures, and by every available means afford them protection, and promote their comfort and consequent multiplication.
    - R. Michener, Agricultural Ornithology, 1863
  • Checking on a bluebird trail is like opening one Christmas present after another. Each box has a surprise inside.
    - Helen S. Munro, The Lesson of the Bluebird, Bluebird Winter 2006
  • The control of non-natives is just as serious as being responsible about monitoring for the life of constructed bird dwellings. So in not participating with the "anything goes" stewardship model you also take a stand against casual construction and regular abandonment that we see so often all around North America.
    - Bill Apgar, Bluebird_L, 2010
  • Daddy dear, tell me please, is the world really round? Tell me where is the bluebird of happiness found?
    - Little Child (Mon Enfant), Wes Montgomery, Ralph Towner, Spike Jones

  • Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
    -William Faulkner(1897-1962)
  • Don't despair, because a seed is planted somewhere along the way.
    You are making a difference, even if you don't see it right away.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2007

  • I don't know any Bluebird hosts who enjoy killing anything, including HOSP, but the two species are on a head on collision course and there is so much proof that the HOSP will win (and by that I mean kill) your Bluebirds eventually.
    - Dave Kinneer, Bluebirding Forum, 2008

  • Dull indeed would be the man that did not feel the thrill awakened by the first glimpse of brilliant color in the orchard, and the cheery warbling notes borne to our ears on the first gentle breath of spring!
    - A.C. Bent, 1949
  • Each person who looks into a nestbox gets a magical window into the life of a bird. This glimpse can give them an appreciation and respect for birds they would never get otherwise.
    - Karen Louise Lippy, Bluebird_L, 2002
  • Each time we go to a box it's going to be a surprise.... The very first box that we ever checked on our own, we were thrilled and we were hooked on it at that moment. The pleasure has not diminished at all in the 18 years we've been doing this.
    - Judy Peak, LBL Association, 2007
  • Early in life, I was visited by the bluebird of anxiety.
    - Woody Allen
  • The Eastern Bluebird was very conspicuous during the calm, warm 'Indian summer' days of late October--such weather was called 'bluebird weather' by local sportsmen.
    - Milton B. Trautman (1940) quoted in A.C. Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds


  • Enjoy your successes and try to learn from the failures. Remember, we are helping our Bluebirds and other native species battle the odds so that everyone can enjoy them for years to come.
    - Larry Jordan, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • The English Sparrow among birds, like the rat among mammals, is cunning, destructive and filthy.
    - Birds of America, 1917
  • The English Sparrow, with its grown and growing progeny, is a conspicuous nuisance. Can there be no way devised to abate him, if not totally, at least partially?
    - Cartersville Courant-American, September 6, 1888, Cartersville, GA
  • English Sparrows and Cats are bitter enemies of our song birds. The bad mannered, rowdy, dirty, raucus voiced sparrow bands together in flocsk to torment the Wrens, Bluebirds, Robins and other bird we love. The sneaking, cruel cat hunts them for love of hunting. The most petted, pampered tabby is still a bird hunter.
    - Joseph H. Dodson, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them, 1928
  • Enthusiasm finds the opportunities, and energy makes the most of them.
    - Henry S. Haskins, date?
  • An environmental ethic that considers the big picture compels killing some animals to protect native species and habitat
    - Anonymous naturalist
  • Every April, I eagerly await the first flitters of gold in the dark recesses of the swamp and that often heard and wonderful song ... twseet, twseet, twseet!
    - David Gwin, referring to the prothonotary warbler, 2006
  • Every nest that is built and has eggs laid in it is a gift. Sometimes nature is cruel, but this has to be accepted.
    - 10 year monitoring veteran responding to a Bluebird Nut Survey, 2005
  • ...everyone's first nestbox is the opportunity to attract that first pair of bluebirds. Then, if they know what to do after the birds show up, a potential life-long relationship wtih nature can begin.
    - Kenny Kleinpeter, LBBS, 2007
  • Every original idea is first ridiculed, then vigorously attacked, and finally taken for granted.
    - Arthur Schopenhauer, date?
  • Every time I see a bluebird, I say, well, hey, all this hard work is all worth while."
    - Ray Briggs, 1998

  • ...the first sightings of the year bring the same excitement as seeing the first spring flowers peeping up from the cold ground.
    Jay K. Brindo, 2006

  • The FIRST bluebird eggs I saw were when my father lifted me up and held me in his arms so that I could see down into the nest. Five delicate, sky blue eggs nestled in a beautifully woven grass nest! That chance nesting of the bluebirds in our nestbox helped to encourage a lifetime of memories!
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • Five little blue birds, hopping by my door
    One went to build a nest, and then there were four.
    Four little blue birds singing lustily
    One got out of tune, and then there were three
    Three little blue birds, and what should one do,
    But go in search of dinner, leaving only two.
    Two little blue birds singing for fun
    One flew away, and then there was one.
    One little blue bird sitting in the sun
    He took a little nap, and then there was none.
    - Children's Nursery Rhyme
  • A flowered patch where insects hatch, A bluebird hovers there.
    - Terry Lobdell - see compete poem
  • For many... this list has been a companion, a patient Elder, a font of wisdom and quite often, a source of inspiration
    Carla Hill about the Bluebird_LISTSERV, 2010
  • For me, bluebirds are special because when I am blue, the sight of one makes me less so. Their appraising sideways stare is endearing as well, more curious than wary. Their vigilance in parenting gives us all something to aspire to. They need, and seem to appreciate, a helping hand from me and I can see and hear the results of my efforts all around me every day.
    - Paula Ziebarth, Ohio, 2004

  • For some strange reason that these little blue birds can sing a simple song that will repair broken or damaged hearts better than ANY surgeon can. Catch a glimpse or just a flash of their blue wings and you can fill up voids in a persons soul that we did not even know were empty!
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • For two summers not a blue wing, not a blue warble. I seemed to miss something kindred and precious from my environment--the visible embodiment of the tender sky and wistful soil. What a loss, I said, to coming generations of dwellers in the country--no bluebird in spring!
    - John Burroughs, August 17, 1897 (following a severe winter in 1895)
  • A friend gave them a Bluebird book
    And ever since they have been hooked.
    First a plan and then a house
    Put together by a helpful spouse.
    - "Bluebird Bob" Walshaw, First Bluebirds, 2002
  • Full of innocent vivacity, warbling its ever pleasing notes, and familiar as any bird can be in its natural freedom, it is one of the most agreeable of our feathered favorites. The pure azure of its mantel, and the glow of its breast, render it conspicuous, as it flits through the orchards and gardens, crosses the fields or meadows, or hops along by the roadside.EABL.  From a photo by Leah Solliday
    - John James Audubon
  • Getting kids involved in nature is one of the bset things we can do as conservationists and is one of the best gifts a parent, grandparent, or a friend can give a child.
    - Sandy Seibert, BRAW, Take-A-Kid-Along project, 2010
  • Gone away is the bluebird
    - Richard B. Smith, 1934, lyrics of Winter Wonderland
  • Gonna find me a bluebird, let him sing me a song
    'Cause my heart's been broken much too long.
    - Marvin Rainwater, Gonna Find Me a Bluebird Lyrics, 1955
  • Good data generates questions, not just answers.
    - Mike O'Leary, bird bander
  • Guess what it boils down to is doing our best, accepting the worst, and never giving up in trying to improve.
    - Charlene Anchor, Illinois, 2005
  • I have seen many trails "monitored" or unmonitored without passive or active House Sparrow (HOSP) controls and the result is always the same. HOSP quickly acquire all the nestboxes, doing so with avian casualties.
    - Paula Ziebarth, Bluebird_L, 2010
  • Hope is the thing with feathers that perches up in the soul and sings a tune without words and never stops at all
    - Emily Dickinson
  • I have been in the field working with my birds for 36 years and I don't think a day goes by that I don't see or learn something new.
    - Steve, Bluebird_L
  • It is the general belief that none of our native birds deserve protection more than does the bluebird.
    - Frank G. Ashbrook, The Green Book of Birds of America, 1931
  • Its beautiful blue plumage and soft warbling voice make it one of the most attractive and charming of our bird friends.
    - Frank G. Ashbrook, The Green Book of Birds of America, 1931 (referring to Western Bluebirds)
  • ...he delivers his delightful ditty with great energy....
    - Townsend quoted in Birds of America, Audubon
  • Helping bluebirds is a deeply satisfying hobby, and unique adventure in conservation.
    - Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson, Bluebirds, 1991
  • ... his short contralto notes of greeting, as we hear them early in spring, are most welcome and pleasing to the ear, full of richness and sweetness, and even expressing affection.
    - Arthur C. Bent, Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds, 1949
  • His soft warble, beautiful blue coat, warm waistcoat, and gentle manners make him the most welcome herald of spring.
    - Birds of America, 1917
  • His soft warble melts the ear, as the snow is melting in the valleys around. The bluebird comes and with his warbles drills the ice and sets from the rivers and ponds and frozen ground.
    - Henry D. Thoreau, March 2, 1859
  • A homeowner will take better care of bluebirds in a backyard box than a trail manager ever could.
    - Steve Garr, NABS 2006 conference
  • Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all, ....
    - Emily Dickinson, "Hope" is the thing with feathers, 1891
  • The HOSP certainly wasn't introduced for its beauty. It is kinda cute when it "dusts" itself in the sand. However, Ted Bundy was not a bad looking guy either.
    - Evelyn Cooper, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • House sparrows will reward your kindness by killing your bluebirds
    - Bob Orthwein

  • House sparrows working as a team are an amazing killing machine.
    - Paula Ziebarth, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • How readily the bluebirds become our friends and neighbors when we offer them suitable nesting retreats!
    - John Burroughs, The Golden Book Magazine, 1925
  • How the waiting countryside thrills with joy when Bluebird brings us the first word of returning spring. Reflecting heaven from his back and the ground from his breast, he floats between sky and earth like the winged voice of hope.
    - WL Dawson, Birds of Ohio, 1903
  • How shall we adjust to the morning silence that does not belong
    In the empty space left by the absence of our bluebirds song?
    - Wendell Long, 2005
  • The House Sparrow is a persistent enemy of many native birds, especially those which frequent the neighborhood of houses, or which nest in boxes, holes or other places prepared for them by their human friends.
    - Birds of America, 1917
  • I always wonder what makes them all of a sudden (it SEEMS all of a sudden but I'm sure it's not) WANT to look out? To this point, there's only been an IN. Now there is an OUT. When it's time to make that first flight, there will be the "IN is what I know, OUT is what I don't know but should I take a chance and go OUT?"em>
    - LC Moore, Bluebirding Forum, 2007
  • I am not fighting against Starlings and House Sparrows.  I am fighting FOR bluebirds and tree swallows.
    - Paul Kilduff, Bluebird_L, 2007  

  • I *am* responsible for what *I* do.  What I want to know is not how does what we do affect the overall success rate, but rather, how many individual bluebirds and Tree Swallows, including nestlings, will die as a predictable result of what I do.  I don't have any reason to believe that they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their babies so that I can achieve my goals for bluebird restoration.
    - Paul Kilduff, Bluebird_L, 2007

  • I do have an empty box then, but I would much rather have occasional empty boxes and know that every bluebird looking for a cavity found one.
    - Dorene Scriven, Bluebird_L, 1999
  • I garden, therefore I WEED. I raise bluebirds, therefore I remove House Sparrows.
    - Keith Kridler, 2006
  • I have been watching the Tree swallows feeding their babies. I swear I can feel my heart fill up with joy.
    - Maria Pino
  • I have seen amazing sights in my many years but I would be hard pressed to name one that exceeds the wonder and magic of the first flight of a bluebird.
    - Wendell Long, 2005
  • I will guarantee that there is not a bluebirder ...that has not shed a tear or two either for the joy these birds bring or the heart ache we occasionally feel depending on what we find or learn about these birds over the course of our lives! It hurts just as much to lose that first nest as it will the last nest only you feel more guilty the longer you put up nestboxes because we "believe" we have learned enough to be able to prevent ALL losses!
    - Keith Kridler, 2005

  • If it is to be, it is up to me.
    - Robert Schuller
  • If bluebirds were people, they would be respected citizens who raise their families with exemplary devotion, lead productive lives, and contribute generously to charities.  And they would surely be featured soloists in church choirs on Sunday mornings!
    - Bluebirds, by Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson, 1991
  • If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature-if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you-know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse.
    - Henry D. Thoreau, Journals, entry for February 25, 1859


  • If you can’t check nestboxes weekly, don’t put them up.  If you have them up and can’t check them weekly, take them down.
    - Keith Radel, MN Bluebird Recovery Project
  • If you don't like someone's idea of a nestbox or want to challenge what they are reporting as working for them then build another 50 or 100 nestboxes and do your own controlled experiment. The bluebirds and other cavity nesters can only benefit from more widespread experimentation and observations.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • If you mess around with bluebirds, chances are heartbreak will interrupt the joy sooner or later. Be still and listen, for the Joy shall return to sing another day.
    - Wendell Long, 2005
  • I learned that it STILL hurts ones heart to lose a nest full of babies, even after all these years, after losing babies before, and knowing I'll lose babies again, it STILL hurts..... Even thought I KNOW that it's the "circle of life" and that is how things are suppose to go sometimes, it STILL hurts.
    - Joy in Michigan, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • I'm always chasing rainbows, Waiting to find a little bluebird in vain.
    - Joseph McCarthy, song "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, 1918
  • I guess everyone must decide for himself the lengths to which he will go to protect his Bluebirds.
    - Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, 2005
  • I hate hot oatmeal cereal, but I've never hated a nest-box, at least not yet.
    - Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, 2005
  • I have found that bluebirders as a whole are the most giving, loving, sensitive and caring segment of the human population in America. Of all of the environmental groups, bluebirders are the most proactive group as nearly 100% of them actually go out and help their target species themselves instead of just writing a check once a year and sending it to a distant mailbox.
    - Keith Kridler, writing about Dave Magness of Jenna Bird, 2005

  • I am a nervous wreck. I have to keep telling myself, birds know how to do this....
    - Nancy Castleberry, 2008

  • I hope bluebirds dance in your soul.
    - Al Batt
  • A house is just NOT a home until the bluebirds move in!
    - Alyssandra Young
  • I love the excitement of opening the box and looking inside not really sure what kind of eggs I will discover. Sort of like fishing in the ocean!
    - Vicki Butler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • I am a bigoted bird lover. I discriminate against House Sparrows because they are an exotic species and they are very very hard on native cavity-nesting birds. They go into the cavity, peck the incubating female to death, pierce the eggs, throw them out. They kill bluebirds and tree swallows on the nest.
    - Julie Zickefoose, author of Enjoying Bluebirds More, NPR interview, 2007

  • If birders banded together as a conservation force, they could exert incredible power and influence.
    - Bill Thompson, Birdwatcher's Digest

  • If you ask me “why,” I will either tell you what I think or tell you a lie – we usually can’t answer why.
    - Keanna Leonard, Rowe Sanctuary, Kearney, NE

  • I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.
    — John Burroughs

  • I would rather see 300 nestboxes placed in 300 different yards than for me to have 300 nestboxes filled with bluebirds.
    - Keith Krilder, Bluebird_L, 2008

  • If our boys and girls are educated to realize the economic value of the birds, and are encouraged to study their habits, the desire to shoot them or rob them of their eggs will be very materially lessened.
    - Chester Reed, Bird Guide
  • "If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar."
    - Lorrie Otto
  • I’m not sure the bluebirds actually need us as much as we need them. The next generation needs something to be amazed by.
    - Keith Kridler at NABS 2006 conference
  • I'm not trying to recreate the ancient ecosystem. That is gone. I'm trying to create biodiversity.
    - Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home
  • I'm sure that we all remember that magical day when we found our very first Bluebird nest, and our very first blue egg, and our very first nestling. I remember the day many years ago, back in the late 80s, when I saw my first Bluebird in 25 years, after I had long been convinced that they were gone for good. I hadn't seen one since the 60s.
    - Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, 2004
  • I must admit, in the past I thought Bluebirders were a bit odd, but I find myself really getting into this! They are so fascinating and fun to watch and the flashes of blue and their song really lifts my spirits.
    - Name withheld to protect the innocent :-)


  • In a world that seems to have gone mad is it any wonder birds have such an appeal? Birds are, perhaps, the most eloquent expression of reality.em>
    - Roger Tory Peterson
  • In general, Bluebirders are positive, upbeat, and loving people, with a comPASSION for being good stewards in many ways.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • I noticed a LONG time ago that people who are willing to spend their time helping bluebirds are ALWAYS going to be people you will love getting to know and sharing your precious time with!
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • I think HOSP often follow other birds into the boxes and corner them with intent of using the box, reducing competition, or perhaps the HOSP brain is just hard wired to kill and he doesn't really think about it. His motives do stir my curiousity, but his actions spur mine.
    Paula Ziebarth, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • If you like bluebirds, there can’t be much wrong with you.
    - Maxine Manees

  • It is neat to have nature at your door.
    - Dan Wallen, 2008
  • It is NOT the box style but the monitoring style that determines whether you have bluebirds or not!
    - Keith Kridler, 2004
  • It's a bird eat bird world out there! (referring to hawks)
    - Pamela Ford, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • It's something that people from the age of 8 to 108 seem to enjoy. I think we both really feel pleased and proud each time we see bluebirds here because we feel they might be our babies, our bluebirds that we've helped.
    - Robert and Judy Peak, LBL Association, 2007
  • It is up to us to share the beauty of this creature with the next generation of planet earth.
    Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • It may well be true that in different areas of the country different ecological situations lead to different relationships in regards to which Bluebird management strategies work best. I don't think that people in every corner of the continent should blindly follow my recommendations ...or those of any other individuals or groups.
    - Kevin Berner, Bluebird Journal Vol.25, 2003
  • I've felt bad many times this year and kept questioning what I did, or did not do, correctly. But I've also felt good for the successes. Guess what it boils down to is doing our best, accepting the worst, and never giving up in trying to improve.
    - Charlene Anchor, 2005
  • The increase in the bluebird population is a remarkable success story. It is the direct result of widespread action by sympathetic bird lovers who pledged their help and followed through.
    - Arnette Heidcamp, Bluebirds in My House, 1997
  • Indeed, this bird seems incapable of uttering a harsh note, or of doing a spiteful, ill-tempered thing.
    John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867
  • In flight the bluebirds are very charming at this time of year; a leisurely flip of the wing carries them along silently with just enough momentum to keep them afloat in the air, and they often sail for a long way, drifting along with open wings.
    - Dr. Winsor M. Tyler, quoted in A.C. Bent's Life History of Familiar North American Birds, 1949
  • In my many years of monitoring, I have "taken over" the care of boxes in many different places and circumstances. In almost every case (99.9%), the boxes appeared only to be used by native cavity nesters when they were originally installed. Once the paper wasps, rodents, House Wrens, House Sparrows, etc. moved in, the native species abandoned all hope, and the boxes.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2009
  • In New York and New England the sap starts up in the sugar maple the very day the bluebird arrives, and sugar-making begins forthwith. The bird is generally a mere disembodied voice; a rumor in the air for two or three days before it takes visible shape before you."
    - John Burroughs, Wake-Robin, first published in 1871
  • In the thickets and the meadows Piped the bluebird, the Owaissa.
    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hiawatha, 1855
  • In spite of my great age (I am on the sunny side of sixty) the note of the bluebird always awakens a thrill that carries me back to my boyhood. One is sure to hear a bluebird several times before one sees it....
    - Henry A. Shute, The Real Diary of the Worst Farmer, 2005
  • I invested a nice sum of money into an official bluebird house that my husband and I have nicknamed the Hilton, [the bluebirds] chose to build their nest in a very old box used by countless other birds over the years that we've nicknamed Motel 6.
    - Susan Ramsey, 2010
  • Is there any sign of spring quite so welcome as the glint of the first bluebird unless it is his softly whistled song? No wonder the bird has become the symbol for happiness. Before the farmer begins to plough the wet earth, often while snow is still on the ground, this hardy little minstrel is making himself very much at home in our orchards and gardens while waiting for a mate to arrive from the South.
    - Neltje Blanchan, Birds Worth Knowing, 1917
  • It never ceases to amaze me how tiny they are when they first come out of the egg and that something so small will be soaring in the sky in a month.
    - Anna in Tampa, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • I think this is a bit premature. After all, who has ever seen a bluebird, except perhaps on the cover of a greeting card?
    - Reaction of a delegate when the bluebird was proposed as the state bird for New York in 1970


  • I've never met a bluebirder I didn't like.
    - Bob Benson, 2008
  • I wish you bluebirds in the spring, To give your heart a song to sing ...
    - I wish you love, written by A. A. Beach & C. Trenet, 1946
  • I worry and worry and ring my hands
    Afraid something may go wrong
    With my complex and important plans ...
  • For you see I am an observer of the bird
    And a second cousin to a paranoid nerd.
    - Wendell Long, An Ode to The Joy of Blue Birding, March 2001
  • Just because a HOSP has wings doesn't make it an angel.
    - John Schuster, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • Kentucky Bluebird, I hear your song today
    But when I try to touch you, you fly away
    - Keith Whitley, Kentucky Bluebird lyrics
  • The kingdom of birds is divided into two departments - birds and House Sparrows. House Sparrows are not real birds - they are little beasts!
    - Henry Van Dyke, ornithologist, 1852-1933

  • Knowing the difficulties the birds face during the breeding season always puts me in awe of them. .... Compared to what they must going through, I feel like I do little. I feel priviledged to have a connection with them.
    - Charlene Anchor, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • The lake lay blue beneath the hill. O'er it, as I looked, there flew across the waters, cold and
    still, a bird whose wings were palest blue. The sky above was blue at last, the sky beneath me
    blue in blue. A moment ere the bird had passed, it caught the image as he flew.
    - C.V. Stanford, The Blue Bird (1852-1924)
  • ...the last chapter on bluebirding has not been written.
    - Pauline Tom, 2004
  • Late at night when the wind is still 
    I'll come flying through your door, 
    And you'll know what love is for. 
    I'm a bluebird, I'm a bluebird...
    - Paul McCartney, Band on the Run, lyrics to Bluebird
  • Let's all do whatever we can, attract our little friends as they need us more now than ever.
    - James C. Adams, Sialia, 1984
  • Life is certainly not just black and white. It is also many shades of gray. (And brown and green and um... blue)!
    - Larry H. Joplin, 2004
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    - author unknown, variously attributed (Dr. Bob Moorhead?)
  • Like a bluebird with his heart removed, lonely as a train, I've run just as far as I can run.
    - How Long, by The Eagles (first verse)
  • Listen to my bluebird laugh. She can't tell you why. Deep within her heart, you see, she knows only crying. Just crying. There she sits, aloft at perch. Strangest color blue. Flying is forgotten now. Thinks only of you. Just you. .... Soon she's going to fly away. Sadness is her own. Reverse of a death of tears and go home, and go home.
    - Bluebird by Buffalo Springfield
  • Long after their associates have gone southward, they linger like the last leaves on the tree. It is indeed "good-bye to summer" when the bluebirds withdraw their touch of brightness from the dreary November landscape at the north to whirl through the southern woods and feed on the waxy berries of the mistletoe.
    - Neltje Blanchan, Birds Worth Knowing, 1917
  • I love to get up in the dark on a Sunday morning and head outside to listen to the birds wake up the morning with their songs. I like to slip off checking nestboxes along sleepy country backroads stopping here and there to "hear" the morning and life more clearly.
    - Keith Kridler, 2006
  • The love-making of the bluebird is as beautiful as the bird itself, and normally as gentle, unless interrupted by some jealous rival who would steal his bride; then gentleness gives place to active combat. The male usually arrives a few days ahead of the female, selects what he considers to be a suitable summer home, and carols his sweetest, most seductive notes day after day until she appears in answer to his call.
    - Arthur C. Bent, Life History of Familiar North American Birds, 1949
  • The male is hilarious and demonstrative, the female serious and anxious about her charge. ... If his life is all poetry and romance, hers is all business and prose. ....She shows no affection for the male, no pleasure in his society; she only tolerates him as a necessary evil, and, if he is killed, goes in quest of another in the most business-like manner, as you would go for the plumber or the glazier. In most cases the male is the ornamental partner in the firm, and contributes little of the working capital. With the bluebirds the male is useful as well as ornamental. He is the gay champion and escort of the female at all times, and while she is sitting he feeds her regularly. It is very pretty to watch them building their nest.
    - John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867
  • A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.
    - Lewis Gannett (printed in The Gardener's Guide to Life, Griswold Freeman)
  • Man is the only critter on earth who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds. The rest of them just enjoy them for what they are.
    - Modified by Keith Kridler, 2005
  • Mankind is the only species I know of that has a conscience about what it has destroyed to survive and restoring an ailing species, and is willing to give back something to attempt to atone it or do something to heal it.
    - Autumn L. Kruer, 2005
  • Many of the birds go south cheerfully, indifferently, but the bluebirds seem to linger sadly and lovingly, and to feel that the migration is an enforced exile from the home they love best.
    - Author unknown (from a calendar)
  • May all of your tomorrows be free of House Sparrows.
    - Dottie Roseboom, 2005
  • May all your blues be birds!
    - Bet Zimmerman, 2004
  • May I never get so jaded
    That the thrill of joy has faded
    In response to velvet warbles
    And discovering blue pearls
    - Bet Zimmerman, 2005
  • ...the memory of a bluebird's predawn warble or of a glimpse of a sun-bathed flash of pure blue lives forever.
    - Stanwyn G Shetler, forward to Larry Zeleny's The Bluebird, How you can Help Its Fight for Survival, 1975
  • Mister Bluebird's on my shoulder, It's the truth, it's actual, Ev'rything is satisfactual, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,Wonderful feeling, wonderful day...
    - from the film The Song of the South, words by Ray Gilbert, 1945
  • The mockingbird is truly named, for mockingly says he,
    "I mimic birds you'd never hear, if it were not for me."
    These are birds that won't be found in your places strifed and harrowed,
    you've overbuilt, overrun, so overly house-sparrowed.
    You've never heard, so never miss, a plaintive bluebird sing.
    But more than birds, entire worlds, have fled upon the wing.
    - Henry Smith

  • Monitoring bird populations continues to be important, not just for the birds' sake, but also for detecting and understanding broad-scale changes in our own environment.
    - David Allen Sibley, CT State of the Birds, 2006
  • Monitoring is the very heart of the bluebirding experience.... It is only this kind of human intervention which will cause bluebirds to survive in an increasingly competitive natural world.
    - Dean Sheldon, Ohio, 1998

  • More birds have adapted to a changing world than have failed. Very few have the narrow tolerance of the ivory-billed woodpecker or the Bachman's warbler.
    - Roger Tory Peterson
  • Many landlords, I suspect actually do what is easiest for landlords, or what they wrongly perceive that martins prefer.
    - Terry Anne Suchma
  • Most of what I've learned about bluebirds is from friends I've never met except on the Internet.
    - Bet Zimmerman, 2007
  • The mother bluebird had laid her full complement of eggs and was beginning to set, when one day, as her mate was perched above her on the barn, along came a boy with one of those wicked elastic slings and cut him down with a pebble. There he lay like a bit of sky fallen upon the grass.
    - John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867
  • Most of New York is dominated by just three birds...House Sparrows, European Starlings and pigeons. Although scientists are too spineless these days to divide the natural world into good and bad animals, I'm here to tell you that these are bad birds. They are messy. They have unappealing songs. They are not native to America.
    - Brad Klein, NPR Reporter, 1998
  • Mouths are open. Eyes are closed. Hints of fuzz where feathers will grow are visible. How do such ungainly, scrawny little creatures ever acquire such phenomenal beauty?
    - Shirl Brunnel, I Hear Bluebirds, 1984
  • my dream would not come true
    for the kid's bb gun had painted red--feathers once so beautifully blue
    - Wendell Long, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • "...my gut level feeling is that a variety of nestbox types will work well and that placement and appropriate monitoring are probably more important than the subtleties of box design.
    - Jack Dodson, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • My own concern with the plight of the bluebird began in 1918 when I found that without constant vigilance and interference on my part House Sparrows nearly always evicted bluebirds from the nesting boxes I had built for them. I wondered how bluebirds could possibly survive as a species without human help.
    - Andre Dion, The Return of the Bluebird, 1981
  • Nature is NOT putting up boxes for the birds to nest in. Putting up a box is interfering with nature. With that intervention comes responsibility.
    Nicholas A. Zbiciak, Bluebird_L, 2000
  • Nature is wild!
    - Bet Zimmerman
  • Nestboxes are the second most important aspect of bluebirding. People of course come first.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • A nestbox monitor is a part time medical doctor, psychologist, secretary, policeman but most of the time you will just be a good friend and casual observer.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Nesting boxes are everywhere. Really, there are too many. But they are for bluebirds, and there can never be too many bluebirds.
    - Shirl Brunnel, I Hear Bluebirds, 1984
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead, date? (1901 - 1978)
  • "Never say never" is my best advice to bluebirders everywhere. Just when you think you can make sweeping statements, an exception seems to "pop up." I use what works best for me on my trails. Others will eventually find out what works best for them on theirs!
    - Ann Wick, WI, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • None of us will be around forever! We need to continuously show others the miracle of nature and how they can help and make a difference "One Nestbox at a Time". We often never know how and when we make a difference.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2004

  • Not for Wrent. (sign for nestbox)
    - Bob Benson, 2008
  • Nothing brightens up a winter day like a bluebird in the snow atop a nestbox.
    - Linda Ruth, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it.
    - Francis of Assisi

  • Now in these troubled times, even more than ever, we need an affirmation that there is goodness and beauty in the world.
    - Bob Benson, after 9/11
  • Now that I have this wealth of knowledge at my finger tips, I feel I can better serve our fine feathered friends
    - Wendy Wakeman, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • The note of lament which is so plainly expressed in the Bluebird's abbreviated warble as it prepares to follow the retreating summer, brings a sympathetic echo from many a human heart.
    - Birds of America, George Gladden, 1917
  • Their northward migration brings music and beauty to land that has slumbered through the numbing whiteness of winter and the chill and mud of early spring.
    - Bluebirds, by Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson, 1991
  • O bluebird, welcome back again, Thy azure coat and ruddy vest, Are hues that April loveth best....
    - John Burroughs, The Bluebird

  • The observation of birds may be a superstition, a tradition, an art, a science, a pleasure, a hobby, or a bore; this depends entirely on the nature of the observer.
    - Jame Fisher, forward to
    Watching Birds
  • "in October, transient Bluebirds are abundant, and natives come back as if to say good-bye to their homes, and sometimes carry nesting material into their boxes, in that Indian summer of the procreative instincts that many birds evince on warm October days."
    - A.C. Bent quoting Bagg and Eliot (1937), Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds, 1949
  • Oiseau Bleu, Precurseur du bonheur, a toujours Adieu
    (Blue Bird, Forecaster of happiness, forever Goodbye)
    - Alistair Horne, A Bundle from Britain
  • Of all our birds, this soft-voiced harbinger of spring is one of the most eagerly awaited. When winter begins to yield at last to the warming touch of the returning sun; when several days of clearing skies and southerly breezes have loosened the ice-fettered streams, drawn the frost from the ground, and given a balmy tang to the air; and when all nature seems in an expectant mood, vibrant with a new hope and a new promise--the Bluebird returns.... Its soft, pleasing warble, like the gentle murmur of a flowing brook in soothing cadence, awakens a sense of well-being and content in each responsive listener.
    - W. E. Clyde Todd, 1940


  • Of all the various out-door recreations I have tried, when it comes to genuine, exciting sport, give me hunting with a camera....
    - Roger Tory Peterson
  • Of those people who show some interest in Bluebirds, very few are willing to invest much of their time and effort. And as we Bluebirders know all to well, a half-hearted effort is probably more harmful than no effort at all.
    - Bruce Burdett, Bluebird L, 2006
  • Once I thought a telescoping pole was all I needed, until I found a snake with three lumps along its body at the base of a pole. 
    - Herb Kelley, Bluebird_L, Missouri, 2007
  • On some pleasant November morning, when we hear his sweet warble from an adjacent fence, though at the time we are unable to interpret the burden of his lay, he is, in his own "gentle, high bred manner," bidding us FAREWELL.
    John B. Grant, Our Common Birds and How to Know Them, 1891
  • One major lesson that I keep learning again is that conditions vary throughout the continent, and that there are very few "rules" which apply equally in every area.
    - Bruce Burdett, The NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • One of the earliest comers, the Bluebird is gladly welcomed as the harbinger of Spring....
    John B. Grant, Our Common Birds and How to Know Them, 1891

  • The only thing I can say for sure about birds is, "Never say never". (Or always)
    - Dottie Roseboom and Kathy Clark, 2005
  • Out in the open country on clear days with a northwest wind, we often hear their sad farewell notes drifting down around us from all directions....
    - A.C. Bent, 1949
  • Over increasingly large areas of the United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song.
    - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962
  • ...over our heads will float the Blue Bird singing of beautiful and impossible things, of things that are lovely and that never happen, of things that are not and that should be.
    - Oscar Wilde, The Decoy of Lying, Intentions, 1905
  • The passenger pigeon needs no protection. Wonderfully prolific, having the vast forests of the North as its breeding grounds, traveling hundreds of miles in search of food, it is here today and elsewhere tomorrow, and no ordinary destruction can lessen them, or be missed from the myriads that are yearly produced.
    - Report from a select committee of the Ohio Senate in 1857 on a bill proposed to protect the Passenger Pigeon. The last known representative of the species -- named Martha -- died in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914
  • ... the people who are interested in helping bluebirds even with just one nestbox in their yards are REALLY special human beings. People who are willing to spend the money or take the time to build good nestboxes, install mounting poles, guards and THEN take the time to monitor and learn even more about the lives of these birds are EXTRA special human beings.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Please excuse my dirty house
    I know it is a mess
    I don't have time to clean right now
    I have a bluebird nest ....
    - Cherie Layton, The Bluebird Nut, 2005
  • The pure acrobatic ability of birds far exceeds that achieved by the most sophisticated aircraft.
    - Dial, 1994
  • Remember that we are only visitors to this world, so when out enjoying wildlife,
    take only photographs and leave nothing but time.
    - Phillip Kirkham
  • I remember a time (B.I. before internet) when connecting with another person who shared my love of Bluebirds, was akin to finding a long lost relative, or finding out I had a twin, I knew nothing about. I'm serious, it was a religious experience.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2010
  • Reports of adults falling victim to cats are common, but young are always in imminent danger of the ravages of these bird destroyers. ... The unfortunate youngsters landed on the ground where a prowling cat was poised for action.
    - Alfred Otto Gross, Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds, 1948

  • Raising BB's is not without times of despair but the rewards that come with each successful fledging keep us strong in our mission to restore and promote a strong bluebird population.
    - Steve, Bluebird_L 2008

  • Responsible people who think enough of the bluebirds to erect a nest box for them are responsible for what events take place in that box.
    - Phil Berry, Bluebird_L, 2007

  • Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.
    - Douglas Bader
  • Shall we call ourselves sialaphiles? Thank goodness for healthy obsessions!!
    - Yvonne Domings, 2006
  • Share some nestboxes with your friends and neighbors and create memories for the next generation.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Snowstorms may yet whiten fields and gardens, high winds may howl about the trees and chimneys, but the little blue heralds persistently proclaim from the orchard and the garden that the spring procession has begun to move.
    - Neltje Blanchan, Bird Neighbors
  • The soft mellow warble of the bluebird, heard at its best throughout spring and early summer, is one of the sweetest, most confiding and loving sounds in nature.
    - Thomas Roberts, Birds of Minnesota, 1932

  • Somehow this all reminds me of the small boy who was walking along a beach throwing a few of the thousands of starfish stranded and dying at low tide back into the water. When asked how this could possibly make a difference, he said "It makes a difference to this one!" as he threw another back in.
    - Bob Walshaw, Bluebird_L, 2007

  • Somewhere the bluebird is singing, And somewhere the skies are blue.
    So lift up your head to the skies And be happy
    For this is true: Somewhere the bluebird is singing
    And winging his way to you.
    - Sheet music - source?date?
  • Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, why, then oh why can't I?
    - Words by Edgard Y. Harburg, Over the Rainbow, from the film Wizard of Oz, 1939
  • "Some days I'm not sure which has changed my life more, the people or the birds. I've made some of my very best friends thanks to bluebirds. Some of my most cherished experiences are with people helping birds or with people whose lives have been touched by the birds."
    - Darlene Sillick, bird bander, 2005
  • Songbirds have steamy social lives that would make most of us blush.
    - Bridget Stutchbury, Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them, 2007
  • So why do I kill sparrows and not much else? Because I'd rather have a dead sparrow than a dead bluebird.
    - Dottie Roseboom, 2004
  • ...so soft and gentle; they sing to no one save themselves. Not loud and boastful like the mocker; not full of chatter like the purple martin. The bluebird song is a kind and personal "I love you" that one must be close and quiet to hear.
    - Kenny Kleinpeter, 2004


  • Spread the bluebird word!
    - Greg & Terry Tellier
  • Spring is sprung
    The grass is ris
    I wonder where the birdies is?
    - English ditty
  • BLUEBIRD WINTER
    In summer, juicy insects crawl
    On leaves and through the grass.
    I feast on bugs until late fall
    Then catch them less and less.
    Soon winter comes with snow and ice
    And winds all in a flurry.
    The bugs are gone, but in their place,
    a berry February!
    - Mariam Kirby
  • Study of this bird's food habits shows that the bird deserves man's freindship for economic as well as sentimental reasons.
    - Frank G. Ashbrook, The Green Book of Birds of America, 1931
  • Take care of the wee blue birds who chose to join your family as best you can. Rejoice when you see babies fledging and splashing in a birdbath. Grieve when a clutch fails or one dies. In time, that will happen no matter how hard you try to protect them. When disaster strikes, take a moment to count the number that you added to the enjoyment of not just yourself but everyone else who sees flashes of blue.
    - Tree Greenwood, Bluebird_L, 2006

  • I'm thankful for the birds who tolerate us, survive despite us, and brighten our lives.
    - Bluebars, Gardenweb Bluebirding Forum, 2008
  • Thanks to all of you for helping fill the skies with blue.
    - Bet Zimmerman, 2005
  • The spring and summer song of the bluebird is a soft and often repeated warble: in the month of October, his song changes to a single plaintive note.
    Encyclopedia Americana, 1849
  • The story of the bluebird's trials is a poignant one, beautiful enough to make you weep.
    - Andre Dion, The Return of the Bluebird, 1981
  • The student of Nature wonders the more and is astonished the less, the more conversant he becomes with her operations; but of all the perennial miracles she offers to his inspection, perhaps the most worthy of admiration is the development of a plant or of an animal from its embryo.
    -Thomas Henry Huxley, British biologist and educator. Reflection #54, Aphorisms and Reflections, selected by Henrietta A. Huxley, Macmillan, 1907.
  • The basic rules for studying nesting birds, therefore, are as follows: disturb as little as possible; preferably examine nests only when the owners are absent; be as quick as possible; and at all times exercise the greatest care and caution, remembering that a little carelessness can bring about the accidental destruction of nest and brood.
    - A Guide to Nests, Eggs and Nestlings or North American Birds, by Baicich and Harrison, 1997
  • ...their camaraderie with each other inspired them to continue on, each of them in their separate paths, to...take birds study to something unique in each of their lifetimes.
    - Susi Hickey Nehls, speaking of the Bronx County Bird Club
  • Then came the bad years: the old trees in the orchard cut down and replaced by younger, better tended plants; insecticides used beyond reason; wire usurping the charm of yesterday's wood fences. As a crowning misfortune, imported non-migrant birds monopolized his favorite nesting places; upon his return one spring, not a shadow of a lodging could be found. All the natural and manmade cavities had been taken. If he did discover one, more often than not he could not see the brood safely through: his eggs pierced or thrown from the nest by starlings and sparrows, his mate's skull often smashed as she tried to protect her young against these fierce invaders.
    - Andre Dion, The Return of the Bluebird, 1981

  • Their distribution of housework did seem a bit typical. She flew full speed for three hours. He watched.
    - Shirl Brunnel, I Hear Bluebirds, 1984
  • There are so many ways to burn time. The glorious way to spend it is to add plants and wildlife that will have ripple effects far beyond our lives.
    - Ron Baltrunas, 2005
  • There is no longer any justification for the random, unofficial collection of birds' eggs by amateurs, and the causal destruction of nests and nestlings, such as occurred in the past in some rural areas, was not justified at any time.
    - A Guide to Nests, Eggs and Nestlings or North American Birds, by Baicich and Harrison, 1997
  • There is NO Yellow Brick road out there leading these young bluebirds to a "Land of OZ" where these birds can live happily ever after, safe from all tragedy. The reality is that NO matter how many bluebirds you raise in a region there are only so many spots for them to breed in and EVERYDAY the area gets cut down smaller one tree at a time, one cubic yard of cement or asphalt at a time.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • There is just something about the unknown... I guess it could be compared to Forrest Gump's box of chocolates - when you open a nestbox, you don't know exactly what you're going to get
    - Robert Peak, LBL Association, 2007
  • There IS something to be said for having the Blues depart for the winter. Nothing beats the excitement of seeing them in the spring for the first time.
    - Cher Layton, 2005
  • There is no success in my life that I value higher than my success as an architect for the birds.
    - Joseph H. Dodson, Dodson Bird Houses, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them, 1928
  • There'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, Tomorrow, just you wait and see
    There'll be love and laughter and peace ever after, Tomorrow when the world is free.
    - The White Cliffs of Dover, Nat Burton, 1941
  • The mewo is a tasty worm.
    I like it.
    It has a glabrous epiderm.
    I like it.
    I peck it 'til it's good and dead,
    And pulp it up, and smash its head,
    Then feed my chicks and go to bed.
    I like it.
    - B. Burdett, self-designated Poet Laureate of Sunapee NH, 1999
  • The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
    - Gaylord Nelson, former governor of Wisconsin and founder of Earth Day
  • These sociable and cooperative subjects do not have to be hunted down in meadows or trees to get close enough to study them where they nest.
    - Jonathan Ridgeway, Bluebird, 2007
  • There is nothing more beautiful than a bluebird sitting on a nestbox with the sun shining on his back.
    - Jody Jackson, 2005
  • ...the only reason you want them protected is because you are watching them. If for instance, you were watching rabbits, you would get upset if an owl came and took one or all the baby bunnies, but if on the other hand you are watching an owl box then you are happy when the owl returns from a hunt with a bunny. Our basic policy is to watch, not interfere.
    ~ Molly's Box
  • There's a bluebird on your windowsill, There's a rainbow in your sky, There are happy thoughts, your heart to fill, Near enough to make you cry.
    - Elizabeth Clark, Bluebird on Your Windowsill (song)

  • The very best manmade bluebird box is one you look into once a week, and that you want to look into. A box that is hard to monitor is probably not going to be monitored regularly. "
    - Keith Radel, MN Bluebird Recovery Project.
  • They come and go at will, they accept our offerings of food, water, and shelter, and give us trust and a heart full of joy when they grace an otherwise dreary day.
    - Nan Moore, Corvallis, WA

  • They come out of nowhere, then seem like they're everywhere, then seem to disappear. The next thing you know, you've got a nest in your box. And you never saw a thing. Be patient, and nature will take care of the rest. PS If you weren't a" bluebird neurotic" you wouldn't be here. You're among friends.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2007

  • They make their nests in holes of trees, are harmless birds, and resemble our robin-redbreast.
    - Mark Catesby, Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, 1722


  • ...the thing that makes the bluebirding hobby so intriging is that you CANNOT answer questions simply True or False all of the time. MOST of the time you cannot even answer a question with four multiple choice answers. We should all enjoy these debates or exchanges of opinions and be willing to experiment and contribute to the knowledge we all seek.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • I think all of us should sometimes take pause and realize what a true challenge and uphill battle we face -- and give ourselves a big pat on the back for doing all we do to help the birds we love so much and need our help.
    - Linda Lee, Bluebird_L, 2008

  • This beautiful and singularly lovable bird divides with the Robin the grateful mission of bringing to its northern friends the welcome news that spring is at hand.
    - Birds of America, George Gladden, 1917
  • This is known as WMS (Worrisome Mother Syndrome), where the landlord thinks of every possible morid thing that can go wrong, no matter how far fetched, and sucks the fun out of enjoying the birds.
    - Duane Rice, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • This is one of the earliest birds to arrive in the spring; it is a question which we are likely to meet first, the Bluebird or the Robin, but not infrequently a flash of the cerulean color tells us the Bluebird has won in the race northward.
    - Field Book of Wild Birds and Their Music, by F. Schuyler Mathews, 1904
  • Thou first sky-dipped spring-bud of song, Whose heavenly ecstasy Foretells the May while yet March winds are strong...
    - Maurice Thompson, An Early Bluebird, 1892
  • Today...the bluebirds, old and young, have revisited their box, as if they would fain repeat the summer without intervention of winter, if Nature would let them.
    - Henry D. Thoreau, 9/29/1842
  • Today while on a job site I found the remains of a female bluebird on the back porch of their house. The feathers were scattered around the cat dish still filled with food.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • To many the bluebird is the favorite of all birds.
    - Frank G. Ashbrook, The Green Book of Birds of America, 1931
  • Transparency is all about letting in and embracing new ideas, new technology and new approaches. No individual, entity or agency, no matter how smart, how old, or how experienced, can afford to stop learning.
    - Gina McCarthy, CTDEP Commissioner, 2009
  • Trapping House Sparrows is like mowing your yard. You cannot expect to have pretty yard if you only mow it once a year.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • [Trapping House Sparrows is] almost like a vacuum effect. You clean out the HOSP and the bluebirds fly into the vacuum.
    - Bill Lindsey, 2010
  • [Trapping is] sort of like the tv show, Survival. Out wit and out last and you win.
    - Duane Rice, BMG, 2010
  • Two different approaches are not conflicts, they are choices based (hopefully) a mixture of logic, observation, convenience and availability.
    - Linda Violett, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
    - attributed to Henry Van Dyke, ornithologist, 1852-1933
  • Some believe in HOSP control, some do not. This is a personal preference, it isn't a law. Don't let your personal preferences lead you down the path of virulent intolerance. We are all seeking to help these birds, each as best we can.
    - Donna Ulloa, Bluebird_L, 2009

  • We are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness on sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.
    - John of Salisbury, Metalogicon, 1159
  • We brought HOSPs to this continent, and it is our duty to deal with the problem we created.
    - Mike, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • We celebrate the beautiful bluebird as a symbol of love, hope and happiness.
    - Larry Zeleny
  • ...we need to remember that we will probably NEVER learn all the answers, because the answers change from day to day and are only good as long as the ink is still wet or until someone else can post in 10 seconds, "THAT'S NOT WHAT I JUST SAW!"
    - Keith Kridler, 2004
  • What is really incredible about bluebirding is that there are as many ways to bluebird as there are bluebirders!
    - Haleya Priest, 2000
  • What we call "Nature" is one long, endless battle for survival. All we humans can do is help the birds get a little edge now and then, in whatever way we can.
    - Bruce Burdett, 2006
  • When [my grandchildren] are grown, I will see to it that they, too, have a bluebird box. Then it will be up to them to find their appropriate path in becoming a good steward of their little corner of the world.
    - Sara Ann Wright, 2006
  • Wild beasts and birds are by right not the property merely of the people today, but the property of the unborn generations, whose belongings we have no right to squander.
    -Theodore Roosevelt
  • I work hard to eliminate house sparrows and European Starlings from my little piece of the ecosystem. I have chosen sides on that battle.
    - Jack Dodson, Bluebird_L, 2010
  • You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that [we] have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is vital not only for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself—a point that seems to escape many people.
    -Gerald Durrell, The Nature Conservancy
  • The young have chipped Have burst the brittle cage,
    And gaping bills claim all the labor of the parent bird
    - Grahame, Birds of Scotland, 1883
  • You know how some say they learn something new every day? I learn I was wrong about birds every day.
    - EA Zimmerman, Sialis.org, 2006
  • We all have different strokes - and this is mine.... It is for the birds.
    - Jack Finch

  • We are more than birdwatchers. We are cavity nester caretakers.
    - E.A. Zimmerman, 2008
  • We can, and should, try new things, but incorporate some of the knowledge we have already, so we don't make things worse.
    - Kate Arnold (Bluebird Listserv), 2005
  • We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
    - usually attributed to Albert Einstein - authenticity?

  • We do make a difference, one successful nesting at a time. The birds keep trying, how can we do anything less?
    - Vicki Butler, 2008
  • We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.
    - Vernon Jordan, in a speech at Howard University, 2002
  • We humans tend to perceive what we already believe.
    - Carrie Keating, Hartford Courant, Could Blumenthal's Blunder Wreck His Brand, May 2010
  • We imported the English Sparrow--that was not Nature's fault. We should rectify our error, drive out the English Sparrow, work together and bring back our native song birds.
    - Joseph H. Dodson, Your Bird Friends and How to Win Them, 1928
  • Welcome to the life long learning experience of blue birding. Just when ya think ya got it figured out, nature fools ya.
    - Jay Brindo, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • What a divine experience it is to watch and be a small part of this!
    - Ron (Bluebird Listserv), 2005
  • Whatever works is good, right? (WWIG)
    - Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, 2001
  • What really makes my day is to get up early in the morning, just as the sun comes up, and hear bluebirds....
    - Jack Finch

  • When bluebirds fledge from my nestboxes I hope and pray a little that they will search out someone in desperate need of The Bluebird Of Happiness!
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2008
  • When in doubt, wait it out.
    - Bet Zimmerman
  • When it comes to bluebirding, if you think you've seen it all, you're probably wrong.
    - Bet Zimmerman
  • When Nature made the bluebird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast, and ordained that his appearance in spring should denote that the strife and war between these two elements was at an end. He is the peace-harbinger; in him the celestial and terrestrial strike hands and are fast friends. He means the furrow and he means the warmth; he means all the soft, wooing influences of the spring on the one hand, and the retreating footsteps of winter on the other.
    John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867
  • When they leave each year I am always afraid they won't be back. So it is just an amazing feeling of happiness, relief and awe when they return.
    - Anna in Tampa, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • Where are those little bluebirds?
    I ask where did they go?
    I'm hoping they'll surprise me.
    I'm hoping that they'll show.
    I'm looking for that flash of blue
    Before we get some snow!
    - Lorraine Mastalski, 11/7/03
  • When you see a bluebird, it just takes your breath away.
    - Barbara Clark of Bickleton
  • Whither away, Bluebird, Whither away? The blast is chill, yet in the upper sky Thou still canst find the color of thy wing, The hue of May. Warbler, why speed, thy southern flight? ah, why, Thou, too, whose song first told us of the Spring? Whither away?
    - Edmund C. Stedman, The Flight of Birds (1833-1908)
  • Who does not welcome the beloved Bluebird and all that his coming implies? His cheery warble, heard at first as a mere wandering voice in the sky, heralds returning spring .... Snow may still lie in patches or drift in flurries; but when the Bluebird comes we know that spring is near.
    - John B. May, abridgement to A Natural History of American Birds of Eastern and Central North America, 1930's
  • Who has decided - who has the right to decide - for the countless regions of people who were not consulted that the supreme value is a world without insects, even though it be also a world ungraced by the curving wing of a bird in flight?
    - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962
  • Why should we care? For the same reasons we should care about the Mona Lisa or the beauty of Mozart's music.
    - Lincoln P. Brower, on the decline of the monarch butterfly 2005
  • Why would you want to keep the bluebird houses mounted in a place that you now know is unsafe for them? Bluebirds are not ornaments for pictures, they are living things that deserve your best effort if you are going to be a landlord to them. There is no magic spell that will protect those bluebirds--they have to depend on you or they are doomed.
    - Kathy, 2005
  • With due respect to other birds, the "Baltimore Oriole of happiness" simply doesn't sound right.
    - Bluebirds, by Steve Grooms and Dick Peterson, 1991
  • Without question the most deplorable event in the history of American ornithology was the introduction of the English Sparrow.
    - WL Dawson, The Birds of Ohio, 1903

  • You are one of the forces of nature.
    - Jules Michelet
  • You begin by sharing with your friends and neighbors and before you know it they pass on the information to a wider circle. It takes time for you to see the results because the seed you plant today may take a decade or more to mature.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2007
  • You can spend a lifetime opening up nestboxes and watching bluebirds EVERY day and still learn something new every WEEK. That is why this hobby never gets old because the ending is never quite the same for any of these pairs of birds.
    - Keith Kridler, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • You haven't seen anything until a whole flock of vibrant blue birds breaks up the brown of a winter landscape.
    - David Gwin, TX, Bluebird_L, 2006
  • You should ALWAYS carry a camera with you!
    - Keith Krilder, 2006
  •         THE BLUEBIRD LADY

    Her husband sleeps upon the hill 
    And yet she helps the Bluebirds still.
    They used to walk the trail together
    Going out in any weather.

    Nestboxes built with loving hands
    Around their spacious home still stand,
    Offering shelter, space and rest
    To birds needing a place to nest.

    She watches them and records with care
    In the book they used to share.
    Every failure and success
    And what occurs in every nest.

    And though she walks with hurting knees
    She even helps the Chickadees.
    Her days are full from day to night
    And though alone her thoughts are bright.

    The sparrow traps she used to hate
    Now help her to eliminate
    The house sparrow with its vicious ways
    That have spoiled so many of her days.

    She knows for her Bluebirds to survive
    Those alien killers must not thrive.
    She does not like to use the traps
    But knows her vigilance must not lapse.

    She loves her cat but it is not out
    While the Bluebirds are about.
    Even the dog stays inside,
    She feels his bark they won't abide.

    She watches her birds hunt and feed
    Among the grasses and the weeds.
    When babies fledge she heaves a sigh,
    Another year is rushing by.

    And as she goes to bed at night
    And says a prayer and turns off the light
    She knows the one upon the hill
    Is with her and her Bluebirds still.

    ~ by Bob Walshaw, written after seeing widow Charlotte Jerrigan tending her trail by herself. Charlotte was the founder of the Oklahoma Bluebird Society

  • ...when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
    - William Beebe, 1906

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Last updated March 26, 2014. Design by Chimalis.

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