This spring, many of us are excited to see "Baby Blues"...not in the form of a loved one's eyes; rather, in the form of the beautiful Eastern Bluebirds and their baby fledglings that are just now learning to fly. As spring and summer arrive, people across the country-and right here in Anne Arundel County-share in the excitement of having these birds nest and raise their "baby blues" in their yards, community parks, and fields. If you have had the opportunity to watch and enjoy the behaviors of these birds as they mate, nest and raise their young each spring, you understand why they are known as an international symbol of hope and happiness.

The beautiful Eastern Bluebirds may very well be the most notable species in the world; it's no wonder they've been highlighted in a multitude of songs, poems, movies, and stories. Their bright blue color and cheerful song can brighten even the darkest days. If you are lucky enough to have bluebirds in your own yard or neighborhood, you know how fast their charm can steal a piece of your heart. There is little wonder as to how their amiable company has inspired classic songs like Judy Garland's "Somewhere over the Rainbow", where happy little blue birds fly...

Indeed, in terms of conservation, the Eastern Bluebirds are flying high. In the 1970's bluebirds were on their way to extinction, their numbers declining dramatically by each decade. Fortunately, the concept of bluebird nesting boxes and bluebird trails gained momentum. Now, bluebirds are flourishing in many areas of North America as thousands of people erect and monitor nest boxes (bluebird houses) in their yards, provide mealworms and generally help watch over these brilliant blue birds. The comeback of the Eastern Bluebird is a story of hope showing us how human behavior and impact can be directed to benefit nature and our environment.

The next time you take a walk in your neighborhood or in one of our local parks, keep an eye out for a flash of blue and take a moment to watch in wonder. I know that the sight will bring a smile to your face and a bit of pep in your step. Of the many famous mentions of how we are enamored with blue birds, perhaps Thoreau said it best: "If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature-if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you-know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse."
- Henry D. Thoreau, Journals, entry for February 25, 1859