Just imagine: How would you feel if, after discovering a cavity in a tree containing a nest full of baby Mountain Bluebirds, you saw a Pygmy Nuthatch feeding the chicks? That’s the situation retired software engineer Steve Zamek found himself in a couple summers ago. He tells what happened in an article in our June 2016 issue, available now at Barnes & Noble and on other newsstands.
We liked Steve’s story so much that we thought we’d gather some of our favorite photos of Mountain Bluebirds. The picture above is certainly one. Laure Wilson Neish took it near Vaseux Lake, in southern British Columbia. She says the bluebird was eating the berries of the waxy currant shrub, a native plant in the Okanagan Valley.
The Mountain Bluebird above was in British Columbia, too. Steve Large took the picture at the Nanaimo River Estuary on Vancouver Island. He used a Canon EOS-1D Mark 4 camera with a 600mm IS2 lens (1/800 sec, ISO800, F/8) and a 1.4x teleconverter.
As this photo and the one below show, female Mountain Bluebirds aren’t as blue as the males. Mia McPherson (miam) says the one above was feeding young in Beaverhead County, Montana. The bird was about to enter a nest box. Mia used a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 200-400mm VR lens (f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640) and a 1.4x teleconverter.
This female was photographed by redfish in May 2013 on Smith Mesa Road in Zion National Park, in southwestern Utah. He used a Sony A77V camera with a 70-400 zoom lens (1/1250, F7.1 ISO 320).
We like this unusual rear view of a male Mountain Bluebird, taken in June 2014 by captbub at Yellowstone National Park, because it lets us see the bird’s plain blue tail and rump, and the dark tips of the wing feathers.
While everyone else was photographing the elk rut in Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, Greg Bergquist took this picture of a male Mountain Bluebird bathing in a small pool of rainwater.
The June 2016 issue of BirdWatching Magazine, containing Steve Zamek’s article about the Pygmy Nuthatch and the Mountain Bluebirds, is on sale now at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands. The issue is also available on your favorite digital device.
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