[Tweeters] Western Bluebirds near Bryant (Snohomish Co.)

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Fri Nov 2 23:56:34 PDT 2018


Late this afternoon, while birding in the NW part of Snohomish County, I was
surprised to discover a flock of 5 WESTERN BLUEBIRDS near the small
community of Bryant (located directly east of Stanwood and just east of
I-5). The exact location was on 59th Avenue NE, very close to 1 mile north
of Grandview Road. At one point all 5 were perched in the top of a small
dead tree, and I got good scope views; later, 1 or 2 were on fencelines
close to the road. It appeared to be a family group, although I did not see
an adult male- all were females or immatures.

The link to my eBird list (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49635345 ) may
help others to wish to look for these birds.

This is a species not seen too often in Snohomish County. In 2007, a pair
nested in a box along Kunde Road, less than 10 miles away, and was seen by
me and others. (If I recall correctly, this box and several others were put
up by Stan Kostka in the hope of attracting Western Bluebirds, which was
successful!) There have been a few more recent sightings along Kunde Road,
but I'm not sure if the bluebirds ever nested there again.

One of the odd things about my sighting was that it was in November-perhaps
the first-ever November sighting in Snohomish County. This suggests that the
birds may winter in the area. In Washington, the great majority of Western
Bluebirds head south for the winter, although in the Okanagan Valley of BC,
where Western Bluebirds are quite common, a large percentage stay all

Anyway, others may wish to check this location to see if the bluebirds stay
all winter. If so, it may be worth putting up more nest boxes in the area in
hopes that the population will increase.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

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