Eastern bluebirds are primarily found east of the Rockies, and range from Canada to Mexico and Honduras. They are much admired for their lovely coloring and. An eastern bluebird perches on a branch, patiently watching the ground below. Suddenly it spots a beetle. The bird spreads its bright blue wings, flies to the. The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the order of Passerines in the genus Sialia of the thrush family.
This is similar to the behaviour of many species of woodpeckers. Bluebirds can typically produce between two and four broods during the spring and summer March through August in the Northeastern United States. Males identify potential nest sites and try to attract prospective female mates to those nesting sites with special behaviors that include singing and flapping wings, and then placing some material in a nesting box or cavity.
If the female accepts the male and the nesting site, she alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs. Predators of young bluebirds in the nests can include snakes, cats, and raccoons. Bird species competing with bluebirds for nesting locations include the common starling , American crow , and house sparrow , which take over the nesting sites of bluebirds, killing young, smashing eggs, and probably killing adult bluebirds.
Bluebirds are attracted to platform bird feeders, filled with grubs of the darkling beetle, sold by many online bird product wholesalers as mealworms. Bluebirds will also eat raisins soaked in water. In addition, in winter bluebirds use backyard heated birdbaths. However, in late , Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology reported bluebird sightings across the southern U. This upsurge can be attributed largely to a movement of volunteers establishing and maintaining bluebird trails.
Of all the birds a gardener could choose to attract, the bluebird is the quintessential helpful garden bird. Gardeners go to extreme lengths to attract and keep them in the garden for their advantageous properties. Bluebirds are voracious insect consumers, quickly ridding a garden of insect pests.
In traditional Iroquois cosmology, the call of the bluebird is believed to ward off the icy power of Sawiskera , also referred to as Flint, the spirit of the winter. Its call caused Sawiskera to flee in fear and the ice to recede. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Bluebird disambiguation. Keep boxes a minimum of yards apart. Install predator guards to keep snakes, raccoons and other predators from raiding nests e.
If squirrels chew the entrance hole to widen it, screw a metal hole guard available from birding stores or a 1.
Try attaching strands of 10 lb. Plant native trees, shrubs, and vines that provide fall and winter food for bluebirds. Monitor boxes at least once a week to check on progress and control House Sparrows , paperwasps , blow flies, etc. You can remove eggs that have not hatched 5 days after last egg hatched. Bluebirds like a clean box.
Remove bluebird nests as soon as the young fledge, or if nesting fails, to encourage another brood. Put nests in the trash to avoid attracting predators. If mice nest in the boxes over the winter, clean them out in February.
Replace or repair any split, rotten, or broken pieces on boxes that could let rain in and chill nestlings. And be prepared to become possessed by these captivating birds.
DON'T install nestboxes within yards of barnyards where animals are fed, or where House Sparrows are abundant unless you are willing to actively manage House Sparrow populations. DON'T mount boxes on trees or fence lines--they provide easy access for predators. DON'T install boxes near where pesticides or herbicides are used.
Don't use pesticides inside boxes unless they are approved for caged birds. House Sparrows are non-native invasive pests, and are not protected by law. You might think they're cute some bluebirders refer to them as "rats with wings" , but they will attack and kill adult bluebirds sometimes trapping them in the nestbox , and destroy eggs and young. House Sparrow nests, eggs, young, and adults may be legally removed or humanely destroyed under U.
It is better to have no box at all than to allow House Sparrows to reproduce in one. It is illegal to disturb an active nest of any bird except House Sparrows, starlings and pigeons, which are not protected. Empty House Wren nests can be removed. Or try a Magic Halo. DON'T worry that monitoring will make the parents desert the nest. Bluebirds tolerate human presence. Touching the nest will not make the birds leave--your mother just told you that to keep you from harassing them.
Most birds don't have a good sense of smell. DON'T open the boxes once the birds are days old. Their eyes are fully open when they are days old. Parents may just dip their heads into the box hole to feed the young at this age.
It can cause young to fall or hop out of the nestbox before they are capable of flying, reducing their chances for survival. DON'T assume the nest is abandoned. During egg laying, adults may spend very little time in the box.
On hot days, the female may leave the nest for long periods of time. The only sure way to know the nest is abandoned is if neither parent has visited the nest for four full hours after the young have hatched. If it has been abandoned, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator e.
DON'T get discouraged if bluebirds don't nest in your boxes the first year. Bluebird Ti metable in Connecticut - see photos of nestling development. Also see general bluebird nesting timetable and more information on bluebird biology for Eastern Bluebirds Mountain Bluebirds Western Bluebirds.
Also see typical first egg dates by State. Bluebirds start checking out nesting sites. Late arrivals, or previously unpaired birds may nest as late as July or even August, and some pairs have multiple broods. It's never too late to put up a nestbox , as they may be used for a subsequent nesting see Number of Broods , for roosting, and are also often checked out in the fall by birds that may return the following spring. Usually laying one per day skipping a day in cold weather is possible but uncommon , for a total of eggs.
Often start egg laying a few days after nest is completed. Egg laying can be delayed sometimes for a week or two - 3 weeks is not unheard of in cold weather, for young parents, or in cases where food is scarce. In Connecticut, the first egg is generally laid in April.
I am happy to report that following the guidelines in this book, my first set of Bluebirds had 3 broods in producing 11 babies. I installed an interior side lexan window on the box last year so I can open it from the side and view and monitor the nest easily.
This is a great book which has guided us and our Bluebirds to success. This book is the BEST for not only the information on all aspects of care of the bluebirds, but has the best pictures I have seen anywhere. I have been caring for bluebirds for many years and am on my 3rd copy of the book, as I have given the others away. Learning about how we humans can help these birds who require cavities to nest in and how to provide nest boxes for them has helped me enjoy them much more.
The book is excellent in addition to being entertaining. It contains everything anyone would need to know to entice bluebirds to their back yard. I purchased three of the books,, gave them to my three children and their families along with a bluebird house for each family.
We are all excited about the prospect of having bluebirds in our back yards this spring. I appreciated that the books arrived in plenty of time to be wrapped for Christmas and included with the bird houses. This book is great. The pictures are large and clear. It has plans for building a birdhouse. I love that it breaks down different species of bluebird and it's really helpful for learning and knowing what to look for when monitoring nests inside of blue bird houses.
We have a lot of species of birds trying to take over our bluebird houses and this will be very helpful to use for reference during the spring. Once you have a bluebird visit your backyard, you WILL be hooked I read just about everything I could find about them on the internet, and you can find tons of information there, but sometimes I'd rather consult a book or two--The Bluebird Book is one of my two.
Actually it is pretty basic, and I thought it was too basic at times, but the further I read there was still a lot of good information about bluebird behavior, feeding habits, preferred habitat, nesting, nest boxes, predators of the bluebird, predator prevention, and what I didn't see anyplace else But I think what kept me reading was the fantastic photographs--the photos will draw you in, and if you weren't too serious about doing the 'bluebirding thing', you will be after starting with this book.
What it lacks in "complete reference" will certainly prompt you to take the next step of getting another more advanced book, pouring thru bluebird internet sites, or setting up a nest box or two in your yard.
Just a note--depending on where you live in the US, parts of this book may not apply--but that is the same for other bluebird books also; don't get discouraged over it. Most bluebird books cover Eastern, Western, and Mountain bluebirds all at once, and what works in the east, may not work in the west, or south, for example. The other book that goes into great detail on just about everything bluebird related is the Bluebird Monitor's Guide.
This should be your next book if you can find it. Excellent stuff, expands on what you learned in the Bluebird Book, and lists many lessons and lessons-learned, easy and hard, from average folks who became very passionate about bluebirds. After starting with the Bluebird Monitor's Guide, The Bluebird Book filled in a few areas and had some good detailed photos.
And all the photos will have you wishing to have these beauties grace your neighborhood.
Follow the Authors
The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous Passerine birds. They are in the genus Sialia of the thrush family (Turdidae). After a male Eastern Bluebird has attracted a female to his nest site (by carrying material in and out of the hole, perching, and fluttering his wings), the female. about bluebird bio. bluebird bio is a clinical-stage company committed to developing potentially transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and T.