Bluebirds of Happiness
Bluebirds have become associated with happiness partly because of Native American legends but mostly because of the song “Bluebird of Happiness” written in 1934. And you may be familiar with the line “Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder” , from “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
There are three species of bluebirds in North America: the Western and Eastern, very similar birds, blue with rusty breasts and the Mountain Bluebird, totally bluish. We only find the Western and Mountain in the west. All are unmistakable blue birds. But let me extrapolate.
I've mentioned before that feather colors are produced both by pigment and structure. Blue color is produced by melanin pigment granules in the feather refracting and reflecting a blue color. If you find a blue feather from a bluebird, jay, or bunting, hold it up to the light. The transmitted, not reflected light, will demonstrate that the feather is actually brownish! Green birds have an overlay of yellow pigment on these brown feathers, producing a refracted green color.
The last Posts from "Ornithology"
- Swallows and Tattoos
- Can Birds Predict the Weather?
- Bird Egg Coloration
- Do Birds Matter?
- Avian Color Morphs
- Birds and Bugs
- The Evolution of Migration
- Fat and Feathers
- The Seedeaters
- Forest Fire
- Suet For Birds
- Birds and Hurricanes
- Old and New Bird Species
- Hearing-impaired Birding
- Should We Befriend Birds?
- Some Miscellaneous Tribulations of an Ornithologist
- Spring Comes Earlier
- Birding Apps
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