Eastern Bluebirds Habits

Male Eastern Bluebird

Attracting Bluebirds to watch their nesting and feeding habits can be done by placing birdhouses correctly, and, monitoring those birdhouses to prevent other species from using them.

By providing the right types of food and cover for them to raise their young, you'll make your backyard more inviting and have a greater chance at attracting these beautiful birds.

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

Once declining in population, these birds are finally beginning to make a comeback. It's interesting to note, these birds were once as common as the American Robin.

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 birding groups, public education, and your help, these birds will have a better chance at survival than they once had.

Eastern Bluebird Call

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.

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.

Blue Birds Nesting Habits

The breeding season for these birds begins in April and will go through July, although a couple of weeks on either side is possible. The fact that these birds are cavity nesters makes them ideal candidates for a birdhouse

birdhouse hole guard
Entance Hole Protector

In fact, if there was ever a bird in need of our help in providing nest boxes, it is the Eastern Bluebird.

The 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 1 egg each day until the clutch size reaches between 3-6 pale blue eggs.

The female will begin incubating the eggs when the last or next to last egg is laid.

Incubation will last between 13 - 16 days and the young will leave the nest within 15 to 20 days from hatching.

The male will often keep feeding the fledglings while the female begins a second nest.

Bird Houses

Bluebird Pair Hanging Out on Purple Martin Gourd Rack

If you plan on putting up a bird house, place it on a pole within 5 - 6 feet off the ground. This will allow access for monitoring which should be done. An entrance hole should be 1 1/2 inches in size.

I can guarantee House Sparrows will be a problem and every attempt should be made to keep them out. Removing nest, trapping and any and all legal action should be taken.

The better you control House Sparrows, the better your chances will be of attracting and hosting these birds near you.

When Do I Clean Out Birdhouses?

Should I Clean Bluebird House?

The quick answer regarding cleaning Bluebird houses is: it's up to you.

It's different depending on where you live as to whether Bluebirds prefer a clean house, or a house with their old nest that has successfully reared young for renesting.

A good idea would be to check for blowfly and mite infestation before just removing the nest and cleaning the house between broods. This should happen as soon as the first brood leaves and after any successive broods.

With gloves and mask (for your protection) gently remove the nest and check for blowfly and mite infestation. If none, let breeze take care of feather dust and replace nest for second brood.

If nest is heavily soiled it might be a good idea to remove the contents, place them in a bag or burn them in your burn pile.

Some people recommend a cleaning solution of 10 percent bleach to water ratio to scrub the house. That's up to you and recommended at the end of the season or before the birds return. Rinse well if using bleach.

Sometimes Bluebirds build nest on top of exsiting nest. This puts them closer to the entrance hole and at a greater risk of predation. Lower nest may need to be removed in this situation.

For winter roosting you can add a layer of straw for insulation to help the birds survive cold nights. Sometimes the birds will add additional material in winter.

Feeding Habits - What Bluebirds Eat

When it comes to feeding, what Bluebirds eat is a 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.

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 Mealworm feeder. They love mealworms.

You can offer live or dried mealworms. Place them in a tray feeder or a specially designed feeder (see right sidebar) so that other birds don't get to them before the Bluebirds.

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

NEW!
Got an interesting story about these birds nesting and feeding in your backyard? Why not Share it With Our Visitors. Got pictures? We Love Pics - To share your story or to read what others have shared Click Here

Wintering Bluebirds

Providing Dried Mealworms in winter is a good idea. They are inexpensive and last a long time. You'll also be helping other birds in winter.

Since the bluebirds remain in winter in a lot of places, a Heated Birdbath can supply the open water they need to survive. An open water source is critical during cold weather as most water is frozen over. All life needs water year around.

Provide a Roosting House For Your Bluebirds This Winter
winter roosting box for birds

How Bluebirds Stay Warm On Cold Winter Nights

Bluebirds roost in birdhouses in winter. Sometimes 6 or more will enter a house at one time. A roosting house has an opening at the bottom which helps keep the heat from rising and going out through the entance hole of a traditional nest box.

Many folks see the birds entering in the birdhouse and think they are nesting. Usually, they are just checking it out for later in the evening. They may even bring in what looks like nest building material. Most likely it is just to create more warmth.

Some Bluebird Roosting Housescan be purchased where they can be converted from winter to summer nesting by removing the front and flipping it so the opening is where you want it to be.

Check out this page where visitors talk about Bluebirds in Winter

 

Additional Information About Blue Birds

Attracting Bluebirds To Your Yard | Bird House - What You Need To Know

Check Out These Gift Ideas | Setting Up A Trail of Birdhouses

Mountain Species | Raise Your Own Mealworms

Watch Videos of This Bird

History and Facts

Like Birds? Check Out These Magazines! A Perfect Gift Idea
bird watching magazine titles
More Choices For You

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel To See All Our Bird Videos!

 

Have A Great Story About Bluebirds In Your Backyard

Note: Please Use The Contact Us Page For Questions From the top menu.

Do you have a great story about Bluebirds nesting or feeding in your backyard? Have photos? Why Not Share it! Our Visitors will love reading and viewing your stories and pics. It's Easy. Just fill in the blanks below and upload your photos.

Ready - Remember, 4 or More Full Paragraphs and at least 1 photo to Get Published.
Let's Get Started!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

New Bluebird Pair 
OK. We have a "bird house" purchased a few years ago. The other day I saw a female bird going into the house. I then saw her return twice until I then …

Our New Residents- The Bluebirds 
I have been a long time customer of Wild Birds Unlimited in Dublin, Ohio. It used to be my neighbor and I would see the occasional eastern bluebird, …

First Time Bluebirder 
I live in Madison, Mississippi and had my first nesting pair of eastern bluebirds this last spring. My husband and I have lived in this house for 15 …

Bluebird Experiences 
I have hung a birdhouse up in my back yard for over ten years, never has any type of bird resided in it. This past March my father spotted a pair of …

Three Bluebird Houses and More Planned For Our Five Acres 
Woodlink Bluebird House There are now three family's of Eastern Bluebirds on our location here in norther Georgia, near Lake Lanier. They have …

Distracted by Eastern Bluebird 
Distracted by birds is a welcome diversion don’t you think? I was working in my yard; I am in the process of creating a butterfly garden to honor my …

Male Bluebird Playing Dead? 
Do Bluebirds Play Dead? I've been watching my first pair of bluebirds for 8 days now. The female has laid an egg a day starting on day 5 of …

Bluebirds in Winter 
Seeing Bluebirds in Winter I found out quickly that if you put up more than one bluebird house you will get a show you did not expect. I thought …

My first Bluebirds & then Tragedy!!! 
The day after I put my first bluebird house up (complete with baffle) 2 bluebirds started building their nest. I was so happy! Before I knew …

Bluebirds From Heaven 
I want to share a special story that touches my heart about my bluebirds, that started several years ago. My father, who lives 600 miles …

Bluebird Landlord Beginner 
Both the male and female bluebirds became friendly and came around 4:00 o'clock each afternoon for meal worms. We put them out at 7:00 am as well but …

My first Eastern Bluebird  Not rated yet
My First Bluebirds I swear these blue birds were meant for me because I live in Florida and my only daughter moved to New York 10 years ago. She also …

Update on my Bluebird family Not rated yet
Bluebird Family my Update My name is Lisa, from Phoenixville,Pa. I had written a story, "I have fallen in love with Bluebirds" in 2013. I am very happy …

Bluebird Pictures and Stories Not rated yet
Feeding Bluebirds in The Snow (Picture) I decided to sprinkle some cereal on the ground to see what I could attract and since it had dried apples …

Click here to write your own.