The bluebird arrives on a song of hope

February 22, 2014 

If it were to come to a vote, the bluebird that wears a brilliantly colored suit of feathers would be the gentle and confiding soul appreciated by the earliest Americans as representing the child of the heavens. It is among the first pre-spring arrivals, forecasting the end of winter and symbolizing the return of the morning sun. With its sweet voice, the bluebird is known for singing songs praising the awakening light.

There are various forms of bluebirds throughout the world. Ours is the Eastern Bluebird, it is the only bluebird that displays a bright sky blue back with a breast of bright reddish hue.

American Indian lore includes a tale that explains an early version of how the bluebird and the robin obtained their red breasts: It all began as punishment for their impudence, displayed by their flying too close to the awakening sun.

These beautiful little living fluffs of red, white and blue feathers undertake their northward migrations, following the retreating ice and snow, marking the end of winter. That’s why the bluebird has long been known as an infallible sign of better days ahead, inspiring hope and happiness. And sometimes a bittersweet longing, as Dorothy sang in the Wizard of Oz:

“Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service