It Takes a Village

This morning I was observing our current Bluebird couple as they sat several branches apart on a naked Lilac bush a few feet from the nest box. They’re still doing the mating dance of the female flattening her back and shaking her trunk at him. The male flying off. The female chasing after him.

When they both returned to the Lilac a few minutes later, a menacing European Starling made a beeline to the nest. Within seconds the male Bluebird and what I believe was a Song Sparrow left the bush and torpedoed at the bird, scaring it off. The female, surprisingly, stayed on her Lilac perch the whole time. Usually, they’re as aggressive defenders as the males.

Once the Starling was out of the picture the male Bluebird and Sparrow returned to the Lilac and within the next minute were joined by three bold red male Northern Cardinals, and two bright yellow American Goldfinch. I didn’t bother to go retrieve the camera, I knew it was a fleeting image but I couldn’t help but wonder if the new arrivals were a part of a very colorful Calvary keeping the neighborhood safe from bullying Starlings.

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