Eastern Bluebird

Sialis salis



Attracting Eastern Bluebirds and to better understand their nesting, mating, and feeding habits can be done by placing birdhouses and providing the food these birds enjoy.

This information is provided to help you understand the needs of bluebirds and how you can attract them to your backyard.

Once a dangerously low population, Bluebirds are beginning to make a comeback thanks to people like you.

Interesting to note, bluebirds were once as common as the American Robin and even lived in the suburbs.

Numbers declined in part from nest competition with House Sparrows and the European Starling, both introduced species. Loss of habitat is another factor.

Through the efforts of the North American Bluebird Society, and other groups and individuals, bluebirds are beginning to actually thrive.

Description:

Eastern Bluebirds measure 6 1/2 inches in length. The male has bright blue upperparts, reddish breast, and white belly.

The female has a buffy throat and breast, grayish-blue head and back with light blue wings and tail.

These Bluebirds can be found in rural gardens, orchards, and suburban gardens near open farmland. Their arrival in early spring is a sure sign that winter is on the way out.

Nesting:

The fact that these birds are cavity nesters makes them ideal candidates for a bird house. In fact, if there was ever a bird in need of our help in providing nest boxes, it is the Eastern Bluebird.

The Bluebird's nest is made of grasses, plant stems, pine needles, and lined with hair, feathers, and fine grasses.

The nest is placed in a birdhouse, or abandoned woodpecker hole usually 3-20 feet above ground. The female lays between 3-6 pale blue eggs.

The female will incubate the eggs for 13 - 16 days and the young will leave the nest within 15 to 20 days.

The Male Eastern Bluebird will often keep feeding the fledglings while the female begins a second nest.

Often the first brood will assist in caring for the second and third broods.

If you plan on putting up a nesting box, place it on a pole within 4-5 feet of the ground.

This height will help discourage house sparrows and make it easier for you to monitor.

The box should be facing away from prevailing winds and have proper predator guards.

To discourage predators, use baffles or some other guards on the poles as well.

Read on predators below for some ideas.

Keep a close watch on your nesting box and remove nesting materials from house sparrows and starlings.

If you aren't handy, you can purchase nest boxes ideal for monitoring.

These boxes have a built in clear side and you can get cameras as well.

Feeding:

When it comes to feeding, Eastern Bluebirds eat large amounts of insects. Eighty percent of their diet comes from insects during spring and summer.

In addition to insects, these birds eat berries and fruits off of small trees and shrubs like dogwood, mulberry, and many others.

You may want to try placing dried fruit and/or chopped peanut kernels on a platform type feeder.

There are other ways to lure these birds, the best of which is to offer them mealworms in a tray feeder.

Bluebirds are very fond of mealworms, and if they are presented alive, and in a tray feeder, there is a possibility of success.

Mealworms are inch-long larvae, with brown, crusty shells, available from pet supply stores or online.

They are inexpensive and last a long time if kept in a refrigerator. American Robins, Gray Catbirds, and Mockingbirds may also be attracted to feeders containing the worms.

Some people grow their own mealworms to save money.

They also can be attracted to bird baths, particularly if the water is moving and makes splashing noises that they can hear at some distance.

Whether it's a birdhouse, mealworms, or water that attracts Eastern Bluebirds to your yard.

Bluebirding is a big responsibility, if you are up to the task, you will be rewarded with one of our most beautiful looking and sounding birds.



Mountain Bluebirds

Western Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebird, and Other Common Birds

Native Trees for Food and Shelter

Offer Fresh Water

Build Your Own Nest Boxes

Nest Box Predators

Share Your Passions, "Site Built It"


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