A Blue Bird Day

Perfect For Skiing, Terrible For Fishing

Getty Images/Westend61

A blue bird day (or bluebird day) is a beautiful sunny day after an overnight snowfall. It's a perfect skiing day with a clear blue sky, bright sun, and freshly fallen snow. That's the skier's definition, at least. In other circles, bluebird day means something similar but with a different connotation.

For duck hunters and fishers, on the other hand, a bluebird day may refer to the same weather condition— a sunny day after a storm — but with drastically different results: fish don't bite and it's hard to hunt ducks when the weather's still.

More Than Just Another Sunny Day

Skiing and snowboarding fanatics tend to use bluebird day as described above; it's a sunny day after the mountain has been graced with new snow. Incidentally, those same fanatics are the ones who carve up all that fresh snow before the rest of have a chance to make some tracks. Perhaps there's a tie-in with the early bird getting the worm — or maybe not.

Weather reporters and other populists may use bluebird day to mean any sunny day, especially cloudless days. But if you ski in the Rockies, a clear blue sky is commonplace, and the spring ski season is full of them, so using bluebird day for the simplified meaning lacks some value.

There's a lot of speculation about where the term came about, be it from a song "The White Cliffs of Dover" which refers to a blue bird coming as a sign of happiness or just from a "blue sky day" being conflated with feeling like a bird flying down the fresh slopes.

In either case, it's commonly accepted among the winter sports community as the perfect day to partake in their favorite activities.

Anglers' and Hunters' Bluebird Days

Folks who like to fish use bluebird day to describe a sunny day after a storm has passed through. This is similar to the meaning for skiers but 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 will alert the ducks to their presence, making it almost impossible to stay hidden long enough for them to land.

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