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JENNIFER HARRIS/The Warren Record

This mural of the Eastern Bluebird, painted by renowned Halifax County artist Napoleon Hill, was unveiled during the Warren County Government Celebration last month on a building at the county recreation complex on Highway 158 bypass, Warrenton. The mural was funded by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council Grassroots Grant Program, and awarded by the Warren County Arts Council last year through a subgrant to Warren County government.

This week, we are publishing a new column written by Frank Newell about one of his favorite creatures on earth, the Eastern Bluebird.

It’s that time of year again, time for the Eastern Bluebird to return from migration. Although a few will stay here, most migrate to warmer climates, such as South America and Mexico. 

If you have not done so, check your bluebird houses for wasps’ nests, ants and other pests. Be sure the old bluebird nests are disposed of, as they will not use an old nest, but will build a new one on top of the old one, making the hatchlings susceptible to predators. Some bluebirds have already built nests and begun to lay eggs. This is the first of three, and sometimes four, nestings, depending upon our weather. 

Remember, bluebirds mate for life. Each bluebird house will produce a minimum of 15 babies. April nests will have up to six hatchlings, five in the month of May or June, and four in late July. 

Please remember to remove every nest after the fledglings have left the house. As the new fledglings grow, they also need a house, so remember to provide an additional house or two to your property. 

You may purchase our houses at our local warehouse in Warrenton or from any State Employees’ Credit Union in North Carolina. Place each house at a height convenient for you to monitor. The mother bluebird does not mind if you open the door as she builds her nest, lay her eggs or feed her babies. Just do not touch the nest or eggs. Place the house in a wide open area. The direction the house faces does not matter. Not all natural hollows in the woods all face one particular direction. Face the house toward a tree or shrub, so the fledglings have a safe place to land on their first flight from home. 

Only feed bluebirds during the winter months. You should have already stopped feeding them, as mother nature will provide insects, seeds and berries to keep them healthy. If you do not have natural water near your property, always provide fresh water by means of a birdbath. 

The bluebird is a symbol of happiness and has deep roots that go back thousands of years. Many cultures across the globe hold similar beliefs about the bluebird. The bluebird is a widely accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, and the renewal of springtime. Virtually, any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird, and the bluebird is used to represent confidence.

Thought for the day: If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right!