The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 30, 2001

Biodiversity Corner

Eastern Bluebird

The bird that carries the sky on his back.

Name: Eastern Bluebird or Sialia sialis

Found: Several times in November 2001, near the junction of Baldwin Road and School Street, and also at the junction of Stearns Street and Route 225, perching on the bluebird houses.

Distinguishing characteristics: The Eastern Bluebird is a medium-sized member of the thrush family, a little bit larger than a sparrow. Adults have blue heads, backs and tails. The blue on the female is more subtle than on the male, and mixed with gray-brown. The belly is white and like the robin, which is also a member of the thrush family, the bluebird has a rusty red breast. Young bluebirds have speckled breasts, the badge of thrush family membership.

Along with the slow recovery of bluebird populations in the Eastern U.S. following a long decline that began in 1895, bluebirds have returned to Carlisle in impressive numbers. They are even wintering over and have been recorded on each of the last ten Christmas Bird Counts.

Reference: Roger Tory Peterson, A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies

Submissions for the Biodiversity Corner are invited from all interested observers of nature there is no requirement to be a professional biologist. You might be a butcher, a baker, or a modern major general. Just follow the format of today's column and send a drawing or photo with descriptive text to Kay Fairweather at 392 School Street, Carlisle MA 01742 or to

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito