Date: 11/3/18 12:00 am From: Wayne Weber <contopus...> Subject: [Tweeters] Western Bluebirds near Bryant (Snohomish Co.)
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.
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 winter.
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.