Home Info Watching Western Bluebird Behavior in Your Yard

Watching Western Bluebird Behavior in Your Yard

by Trevor E Holewinski

When it comes to behaviors, western bluebirds are known to be one of the most unique in North America. The male begins reproducing at the age of one year. During courtship, he sits on a perch, sings, and flutters in front of the female, then returns to the perch to feed the female. The male provides food and other items to the female during nest construction. The breeding season occurs from May to July and the incubation period is 12 to 18 days.

Watching Western Bluebird Behavior in Your Yard image 1

Western bluebirds are monogamous passerines, which means they mate with the same partner year after year. The relationship is long-term, although males sometimes engage in extra-pair copulation. Some males may mate with a male that is not a bonding partner. This is known as intercourse, and the female will often beat the other male repeatedly to get its prey. Both parents will feed the nestlings, and the female will brood them for three weeks.

Watching Western Bluebird Behavior in Your Yard image 2

In summer, the male will attack the female’s chicks. Females usually protect their young and will also take food from their victims. They also use nest boxes to raise their young. The young are not allowed to fly away from their home until they’re fully grown. The Western Bluebird will stay at the same spot for several years. Its lifespan is about eight to 10 years, so it’s wise to watch its behavior in your own yard.

Watching Western Bluebird Behavior in Your Yard image 3

The western bluebirds will reproduce when they’re one year old. They typically breed in May to July and lay one or two clutches of eggs. Each clutch consists of five to seven eggs. The females will lay the eggs between three and eight days. During the nesting period, the males will often copulate. This occurs around 10 days before egg laying and continues through the last day of the egg-laying.

During the breeding season, western bluebirds pair up. During this time, the male chooses and protects the nesting area. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of dry grass. She lays four to six blue eggs. She incubates them for 13 to 14 days and raises the young until they are ready to fly. The young are fed by both parents and help raise the next brood when the parent’s nestlings leave the nest.

The western bluebird’s song is a complex series of repeated calls. During the spring, the song can last from one to two seconds and may be sung during the day or at night. The song will be different depending on the time of day it is sung, but the vocalizations will be similar. The chorus will be a melodic melody, made with a high pitch “ic-ic-te.”

As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This site also participates in various other affiliate programs, and we may get a commission through purchases made through our links. Please read our complete Disclosures and Privacy Policy for more information.