A Bluebird Day Is Perfect for Skiing, Bad for Fishing

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A bluebird day is a beautiful sunny day, often after an overnight snowfall. For snowsport lovers, it's a perfect skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing day. In other circles, bluebird day means something similar but with a different connotation.

For duck hunters, a bluebird day refers to a warm, sunny day—perfect for being outside but not so perfect for hunting. It seems the ducks prefer to lounge rather than move about on a bluebird day, so the hunting's not good. Bluebird also has a business connotation: A bluebird opportunity is a profitable one.

More Than Just Another Sunny Day

Skiing and snowboarding fanatics tend to prefer bluebird days for more than just pleasant weather and fresh snow. Visibility is better than a flat-light cloudy day, which makes it difficult to distinguish terrain, and you don't have to worry about soggy attire as you would on a snowy day.

Bluebird days also tend to be the busiest on the slopes. But be prepared with sunglasses or goggles with dark lenses to cut the glare and protect your eyes.

Bluebird Days For Anglers and Hunters

Folks who like to fish use bluebird day to describe a sunny day after a storm has passed through. This definition is similar to the meaning of the term for skiers, but it's not necessarily a good thing—for many types of fishing, bright sun and calm waters often mean the fish won't be biting.

Similarly, duck hunters complain about bluebird days being too still and quiet to successfully hunt ducks, which require the hunters bunkering down in hidden shelters waiting for ducks to light on the water in front of them. Any sound on a still day or any strong odor alerts the ducks to their presence, making it almost impossible to stay hidden long enough for them to land.

Instead, duck hunters and anglers joke that bluebird days are good days to sit on the porch and talk about hunting and fishing—at least the weather's nice.

Origins of Bluebird Days

There's a lot of speculation about where the term came from. Many cultures refer to blue-colored birds symbolically. For example, in Russian fairy tales, the birds symbolize hope. Yet, the species of bird known as the bluebird is native only to North America, where the Iroquois believed its call could chase away Sawiskera, the spirit of the winter.

Even the venerable Oxford English Dictionary has defined bluebird as "happiness."

In popular culture, the 1908 play “l’Oiseau bleu” ("The Blue Bird") introduced the phrase “the bluebird of happiness.” In song, there's Jan Peerce's "Bluebird of Happiness," Judy Garland's "Hello, Bluebird,"  Mark Knopfler's "Bluebird," and Paul McCartney and Wings' "Bluebird," among others.

Be it from a song from "The White Cliffs of Dover" referring to a bluebird coming as a sign of happiness or the lyrics “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly” from the "Wizard of Oz," bluebirds have become associated with all things pleasant and good—like a blue sky day and the feeling of soaring like a bird while flying down the slopes on fresh powder.