On my run up the Old Road in Gardiner today, vibrant blue color suddenly emerged against the gloomy grey sky. Dozens of mountain bluebirds danced in the air; a stunning sight as I have never seen more than a single bluebird in one place. Their appearance reminded me that spring will someday arrive despite the current snowy weather. Some of the beautiful birds landed and I halted my run to watch them. When they resumed their flight, the bluebirds glistened amidst the winter landscape like pieces of a lost summer sky.
Mountain bluebirds spend their winters from Oregon to Colorado southward, and can journey as far as central Alaska in the summer months. Mountain bluebirds feast on insects and have longer wings than similar species, making it easier for them to hover in the search for food since their mountain meadow habitat does not provide an abundance of perches.
No bluebird photos unfortunately--I didn't take my camera on my run--but here's a photo of mule deer grazing in my front yard this afternoon.