Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tale of the Bluebird Tree

Mountain Bluebird, male, May 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

One day, a man and woman were driving along and saw a flash of blue in a field of stubble. Oh, how pretty to see a bluebird. Another bird flew past with only a touch of blue on the wings and landed on a nearby tree branch.

Mountain Bluebird, female, May 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

The man and woman didn't think the tree looked pretty at all. It had no green leaves like all the other trees were getting, and the branches were wiggly and sharp. 

The Bluebird tree, May 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

The man and woman drove away, but later at home, they looked in their bird book and saw that the bright blue bird was a Mountain Bluebird male, and the one with only a bit of blue was the female.

A week later, the man and woman went back to see the pretty bluebirds. They were surprised to find the male poking his head in a big hole in the dead tree.

Mountain Bluebird, male, May 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

As the people stopped to look, the male pulled his head out and flew away. The people were sad they had scared him away, but happy when the female came out of the hole to take a look.

Mountain Bluebird, female, May 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

And the people knew that the bluebirds had built a nest in a hole of the dead tree. Soon, baby bluebirds would hatch from eggs laid by the female. 

The woman took a picture of all the trees near the bluebird tree so they would remember where it was, and then they drove quietly away. 

Before the storm, Jun 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

One week later, a terrible wind blew across the prairie and many trees were damaged near the man and woman's home. They drove out to check the dead tree that held the bluebird nest. 

But where was it? The people knew they were at the same place because they had a picture of it. But where was the bluebird tree?

After the Storm, Jun 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

The bluebird tree was gone! Everything in the picture was the same, but the tree wasn't there.

The man walked over to take a look.

Looking for fallen Bluebird Tree, Jun 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

He pointed to something that the woman couldn't see, and then he took a picture of something laying on the ground. 

Taking photo of fallen tree, Jun 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

The man showed the woman a picture of a tree on the ground with a big hole in it, and they knew the mighty prairie wind had pushed over the bluebird tree.

Hole in Fallen Bluebird Tree, Jun 2019. Source: Nelson Draper

Then the man showed a picture of inside the hole. It was empty. Only bits of old grass and small twigs lay at the bottom. The nest was gone. 

Empty hole in fallen tree, Jun 2019. Source: Nelson Draper

The man and woman were heartbroken. The pretty bluebirds were gone and they didn't know if they had even survived the storm. For several days, the man and woman stayed away. It was too sad to drive by the fallen tree. They prayed that God had taken care of the birds that He had created. 

One day when they couldn't wait any longer, the man and woman drove to the fallen tree. From a distance, they saw that nothing had changed.

But then they saw a flash of bright blue zip past their car. Right behind it flew a bird with a bit of blue on its wings. The bluebirds! Yes! As the man and woman watched, the bluebirds flew past the fallen tree and deeper back into the trees behind it. Somewhere in that bush, they had built another nest, sheltered from the prairie wind. So deep, that the man and woman couldn't see it from the road.

Mountain Bluebird, male, on stubble, Jun 2019. Source: Anita Mae Draper

It was the last time the man and woman drove that way, but one day, they'll be back looking for new bluebirds. Meanwhile, they look at the pictures and imagine the male bluebird out on the stubble and new crop, watching out for insects to bring back to his family.

Tale of the Bluebird Tree video shows the bluebird pair at the tree.


This is a true story, but if you like fiction, you can check out my other stories at


  1. What a sweet story! Nature is busy without us but when we are blessed to see something that touches us, we become really invested. I love seeing them in that knothole nest and wish your bluebirds (I mean Those two people in your story...) all the best in their new location! Eastern Bluebird is our NY state bird and we have bird houses for them all over b/c the invasive sparrows really compete for nest boxes. By limiting the size of the opening, we often can support the bluebirds. Thanks Anita!

    1. You're welcome, Deb. Like you, we're blessed to live in a place where we can see nature at work throughout the seasons. We recently had a visitor who kept exclaiming, "It's so beautiful here. Listen to the birds!" That gladdened our hearts, for sure, especially when he didn't mention the barn and outbuildings in dire need of paint and repair.

      We've only had Eastern bluebirds once here when they stopped to feed their juvvies on the way south. We also have lots of problems with sparrows. Often when I see the fence line full of nest boxes, though, they're occupied with swallows instead of bluebirds. Seeing the bluebird tree really opened our eyes and hearts this year.

      Thanks so much for dropping by. I really appreciate all the work you do behind the Inkwell curtain.

  2. Great story!! and beautiful pictures too!

    1. Thanks for the words and for stopping by, Elaine. :)


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