In yesterday's comments, several of us were writing about mammals and birds that live in North America but not in France (or Europe). Here's another one — the bluebird. There are three varieties of bluebirds in North America: the eastern, the western, and the mountain. I assume the ones in this slideshow (11 images, running time one minute) are western bluebirds, because my friend Sue took the photos near her house in the Sierra Foothills in California. Sue gave me the photos in June 2018, on her last visit to Saint-Aignan, and she gave me permission to publish them on the blog.
Bluebirds are members of the thrush family and the Sialia genus. The blackbird and the American robin are thrushes too. Blackbirds are merles in France, and the French name for the American bluebird is merlebleu. Wikipedia says that by the 1970s bluebird populations in the eastern U.S. had declined drastically, because of competition for food and nesting sites from two introduced birds, the house sparrow and the starling. Over the past 10 to 15 years, however, bluebird populations have started rising again.
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You might have noticed that I am now posting an hour or so later than I had been posting for the past couple of years. I'm trying to put myself on a new sleep schedule, so I don't get up at 4:45 or 5:00 every morning and go to bed so early in the evening. The end of heure d'été ("summer time" — in France we set the clocks back an hour over the weekend) — and my efforts to conquer jet lag have helped. I'm still not feeling any effects from jet lag, and I've slept for nine hours every night (four of them) since I got back to Saint-Aignan from North Carolina last Thursday.