Bluebirds in Winter

by Chris Peters
(Atlanta, Georgia)

Seeing Bluebirds in Winter

bluebird in snow

Bluebird in Snow NC



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 it would look so cute to put 3 or 4 together like a small village.

Well...my beautiful pair that come back year after year, (I think!) moved into the village and I was thrilled.

I then waited for some of their friends to move in.

To my great satisfaction, another pair showed up.

I have a long front porch with a swing and I spent many garden breaks on that swing watching as the male stood guard and the female built her nest.

All this time I thought I had two pairs of bluebirds in my little village.

Ahh...not true.

It took me a couple of weeks to realize that the same pair had built a nest in each of the 4 bluebird houses.

They finally chose one to lay their eggs and raise their young.

They were also very successful in running off any other bluebirds.

They also ran off a pair of Chickadees that tried to move into the village.

I was amazed that they would keep going from house to house even after the mama laid her eggs.

I am not sure if they were using the other houses as decoys or if they were just trying out each one to see which they liked.

This pair raised three sets of young over the summer months.

So here it is, fall, it is almost Halloween and the days are getting short and cool.

I was pretty sure my pair had moved on for the winter.

It is cold and raining today and I was standing at the back window looking out into the yard at the birds.

I have several feeders and love to watch them.

Soon I saw a little fat bird all puffed up sitting on the deck railing.

She looked very familiar and it took me a minute to realize she was a young female bluebird here in winter.

The next thing I see she has a bit of moss in her beak and she flies to one of the bluebird houses and goes in. I am astounded!

This is a new pair, the female is very small, much smaller than my regular pair.

Soon the male, gorgeous blue, streaks in and joins her.

He sits on the top of the house and surveys his domain. Ready to protect his coming brood!

I have never had any of my bluebirds stay into November and build a nest at this time of the year, nearly winter.

The good news is that here in the Atlanta, Georgia area we don't get really cold weather until late December and January.


I would love to hear of any other bluebirds nesting at this time of the year.

Oh and by the way...I separated all the blue bird houses so I would hopefully get more pairs.

We will see how this all works out.

Eastern Bluebird Migration


Added by Wild-Bird-Watching

Eastern Bluebirds in the Northeast are only partially migratory. If there is food scarcity they will move southward.

Those that breed in southern Canada and the northern US are the most likely to travel south to Texas or the southeastern states.

Most will stay year-round which offers them a better survival rate due to less energy being used up by migrating.

So, enjoy your bluebirds in winter.

More:

From: wild-bird-watching.com
See Types of Bluebird Feeders

Don't forget to feed your Bluebirds during the cold by providing Mealworms

See Also:
Mating, Nesting, Feeding Habits of Bluebirds

Comments for Bluebirds in Winter

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coooold weather
by: beeman

2/14/22 8 bluebirds at the feeder twice each day, here in central N.Y state minus 2 degrees F right now.

Sometimes I have to feed twice each day, snow birds (juncos) sneak in during the day to enjoy the mealworms also.

Ordered another 5 # bag last week. More expensive each time, oh well!!

Bluebirds in winter
by: Anonymous

It is February in Smith's Falls, Ontario (about 1hr south of Ottawa)we have lived here for almost 20 years and have bluebirds almost as long nesting here.

But this is the first winter we have ever seen the bluebirds this early.

They have been here since the beginning of Feb. About 2 months earlier than they ever have been.

They seem to be thriving eating bugs off the house and obviously berries. Due to their purple poop. But it is so strange to see them now.


roosting bluebirds
by: Gene

Absolutely common. At the end of the nesting season clean out the house and add a layer of straw for the winter.

By March you should remove the straw for a new nest. Hope you have more Blues this season.

A crowded bluebird house
by: Jim D

Here it is Feb 12 in upstate NY and I just watched 8 bluebirds, male and female squeeze into one of my houses.

I believe they are roosting for the night. Is this a common habit? Jim D

Over-wintering
by: Philip

We have several bluebird boxes in our rural backyard in Southern Ontario, and we get a few pairs of Bluebirds raising young each summer.

We get small flocks returning each November and December to check out their boxes and say goodbye before flying south.

This year we saw 3 in January.

Some research indicated that yes indeed, some BB overwinter in pockets in Southern Ontario.

So... I rigged up a low-wattage lamp under the box and voila! They checked it out and seem to have moved in for the night.

Good thing as it will be -26C (-15F) tonight.



No Nest
by: Gene

Hi Marsha,

Thanks for contributing. The Bluebirds won't nest in your area this time of year but may use bird houses to roost in at night.

blue birds in november
by: Marsha, Terre Haute, IN

A pair of Bluebirds Are eating the red berries from my dogwood trees.

It is Nov. 18, 38 degrees, and slightly sleeting.

I took down the house they built in this summer and did not put it back as assumed they were gone for the winter.

Now I feel bad, suppose they build nests in winter?

Building nests in October?
by: James B

I'm here in upstate NY close to Catskills. I have three bird boxes and one family of blues took over two of them in May.

Tree swallows in the other.

The bluebirds had a few broods and moved on by July.

I would hear their wonderful calls as I went to my office in the mornings but didn't see them
around as much.

Now, in late October, I see 4 bluebirds hanging out and building nests again…. how strange is this?

Young bluebird in feb. MA
by: Avery Sage Notion

Hi, I was searching and found your article, thank you.

I just took a video of the cutest young I believe as he had a big belly, male bluebird.

Yesterday, on February 12 2021 in Massachusetts.

I was surprised as I'd only seen another young bluebird on my porch during the summer 2 days in a row.

I live north of Boston. He was beautiful. I've lived here for 15 years

Winter Blue Birds.
by: Anonymous

I live in Northwest Indiana about 20 miles from the tip of Lake Michigan in Chicago.

I border a small oak and hickory woods and see many many birds in the winter at my feeders.

Today I was watching an accidental flock of robins and mixed in with them were three or four bluebirds!

I'm lucky to see one bluebird during the summer passing, but to see three or four with 12 inches of snow on the ground in February is astonishing!

Has anybody else in the upper Midwest experienced this?

Eastern Bluebirds in Maine in February
by: Anonymous

We see on occasion pairs of eastern bluebirds visiting our bird feeders in February here in Southern Maine. Is that normal?

Coldest day of the year!!!
by: Paula in CT

Two beautiful bluebirds came to my feeder today.

Overnight temperatures in the single digits and very windy.

Both were male and I thought I saw a female in the evergreen, but could not be sure.

Putting out live mealworms on a try for them, as the weekend continues to be cold and a big snowstorm is predicted for Monday and Tuesday.

Had not seen any at all, and then as I was washing dishes I looked out the window and saw a huge fat Robin on the trellis, followed by one Bluebird and then the other.

Quite a sight. I am in North West Connecticut. Lovely scene.

January in Ontario
by: John C

Today is January 25, 2021. A bluebird is flitting around in our backyard. We have no boxes or feeders, but there it is.

Bluebirds nest in October
by: Terry

Hi, I read the story about the bluebirds nesting in October and I was amazed.

I check my bluebird boxes on a regular basis and here a few days ago I checked it and it's October now and I had a nest in there no eggs and I hadn't seen my Bluebirds for a while now and all of a sudden they're here.

So I'm just curious do they nest in the fall, I'm in Ohio and it gets cold early sometimes.

Or could they build a nest just to stay warm I don't know?

But thank you for your story it was interesting.

Bluebird Window CT
by: Gene

Check this page out as it applies to all birds.
Birds flying into Windows

Blue bird in CT in January?
by: Anonymous

We have 2 bluebirds trying to get in our windows in CT. I'm January. What should we do?

Food for bluebirds
by: Gene

Hi Linda,
See below for a link for mealworms.

Strangest thing yet.
by: Linda

Dec 19, 2019. South Bend, IN. High temperatures today 36 degrees.

I was outside cleaning up after the dogs and a bluebird landed on my head.

I usually only see them in the spring and was shocked to have one land on me.

I need to get some food out for the poor guys. What kind of fruit or seeds should I buy?

Probably Using the House for Roosting
by: Gene

Hi Beth, most likely they are familiar with the house and are using it at night for roosting.

Breeding season is brought on by other factors.

Bluebirds in December
by: Beth from Michigan

I was just looking out my kitchen window and there were two bluebirds, one male and one female going in and out of the birdhouse that they nest in the summer.

This is December in Michigan, cold and snowy.

It is so wonderful to see them but I worry about the cold and their confusion.

They are acting as though they are getting ready to nest.


Winter bluebirds in KY
by: Kay Hollo

I was just looking out my French doors at my bluebird house.

There was a Bluebird couple, the female checking out the house and the male sitting in watch on the shed roof, right above it.

It’s freezing cold on Nov. 16, 2019! I also thought it strange!

Never saw any out in cold Stanton, KY weather!

I lived in Cave Spring, GA for 18 years and they were almost tame and not afraid of me.

They knew I was feeding them all those years, but never saw them in the winter there and it wasn’t near as cold as it is here in KY!

Bluebirds in 16 degree snowy nov
by: Anonymous

Have 6 at feeder of mealworms. Nov 14th in IND

Raising Your Own Mealworms
by: Gene

Here is our article on How to Grow Mealworms.

Raising Mealworms

Good Luck!

Gene
wild-bird-watching.com

Price of meal worms
by: Paula

I am in CT and last year was the first time we saw bluebirds in the winter.

I decided mealworms were too expensive to buy dried, so I researched growing/raising them myself.

It is very easy to start a colony.

They multiply easily and can not fly or crawl to escape, so I have them in an old fish tank.

Birds just love them and they are alive so attract easier. You all should try it.

I find it to be a plus, and they don't smell or require daily care in our fast-paced lives.


TN Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

Actually counted 6 today at the bird bath. I too just picked up some meal worms. I too thought they were pricey.

Bluebirds in nov
by: Anonymous

Wow, I was surprised to see your post.

We just noticed a pair in our box at this time of year.

We’re in central PA and it has frosted here and gets quite chilly.

They are acting like they have eggs in there.

I thought they would be on their way south by now. Happy birding!

Bluebirds in TN
by: Anonymous

Have seen a pair of Bluebirds over the last several weeks at my birdhouse where a pair raised two broods this summer.

Not sure if they’ve built a nest as I cleaned the old one out after they left.

If I provide food and water are chances good they will stay all winter?

Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

I live in Hampton Cove, Alabama, and just saw a male and female bluebird checking out my bluebird house!

They went in and out, as they did this past summer when they had 2 broods. I’m so excited to see them again and hopefully, they will return soon.


Does someone have a pattern?
by: Anonymous

Roosting bluebird houses. Hmm, never heard of them, but sure would like to have them stay the winter here in comfort, as I said earlier.

I've seen some here, but am anxious to feed them as I don't want to entice them if it isn't a good fit for them.

@Brian
by: Gene

If there is food around they will stay in winter. 20 is a lot to have around but families may stick together.

Sometimes as many as 6 will roost in a birdhouse in winter.

Roosting houses (specially made) are made for wintering bluebirds.

These houses have lower entrances and pegs to stand on inside the house.



Yes but why are they here in the winter
by: Anonymous

Ok but is it common for blue birds to be around and 20 of them all winter

@Brian
by: Gene

It may just be that you don't have the right habitat for nesting during the summer.

Also, a pair of Bluebirds would run off others during the nesting season.

They don't stay in flocks during the breeding season.

I have blue birds all winter in Mass. And none in summer
by: Brian

I live in Massachusetts and I have over 20 blue birds all winter and they all leave in the summer why is this?

I don't understand now that I'm reading up on it.

I thought they were winter birds but I have read they go to warm in winter so why do I have them all winter and none in the summer

Location, location, location
by: Anonymous

I have learned if you want to have bluebirds take up residence in your bb house you absolutely must make sure the opening is facing the Eastern direction.

Once I read that and applied it to my housing locale I was amazed that the one facing east was always utilized and the one facing south NEVER got used.

Don't know if this is a fact, but if you aren't seeing them being used, try changing the direction the door faces...weird but worked for me!
<

Bluebirds at birdbath
by: gayle

So excited! This is the first year I have put a heating element in my birdbath - and I was SO excited to see 3 bluebirds drinking from it today!

I live in Monkton Md and it is currently 35 degrees.

I have a pair of bluebirds that have nested in a blue bird box for several years.

Winter Bluebirds
by: Beverly

Today I was surprised to see a flock, maybe 20 plus, of Eastern Bluebirds feeding on a stand of Sumac near Harvey's Lake, PA.

It is a bit hilly here, and I have not seen any bluebirds prior, even in Summer. Today around 25 degrees F.

First year with bluebirds
by: Anonymous

We’re in Amherst NH and have finally attracted bluebirds to our yard with bug nut and berry cylinders from Wild Birds Unlimited.

Some days 10 blues will be there as well as three types of woodpeckers.

Nearby we have a bluebird house and I can't understand the bluebird's behavior around it.

Every day 1-3 birds land on top of it and then enter it up to about a third of the way through the opening.

Then they seem to peck around a little but never go all the way in. Is this normal?

I’d like them to use it for winter roosting but they don’t seem to like it.

I'm thrilled that we finally have all these birds but would love to understand how I can make this house more inviting in the winter.

Spotted my 5 bluebirds in my feeder
by: Nancy

I live in North Central Ohio and keep dried mealworms in my bluebird feeder all winder.

I spotted 5 bluebirds in my feeder this morning. Looked like 2 males and 3 females.

I think it is my returning pair and their last babies.

I have 3 nest boxes about 100 yards apart in an open 2-acre field.

I monitor the boxes all spring and summer to keep all other birds out of them and have raised at least 2 sets of babies every year for the last 5 years.

I love watching them in the morning.

blue birds in Winter during storm
by: Carol

On Sunday, during a snow/sleet storm in Palmer, MA, we had a flock of 20 -25 bluebirds stay in the yard for over 5 hours.

I had never seen so many for so long, especially during bad weather, I always thought they migrated to warmer weather, but this winter, they frequent our yard regularly.

Normally they stay usually stay for less then 10 minute, so I was surprised that they stayed so long during the storm.

They all seemed to like the suet and ate very little black oil seed.

Lucky for them we have 6 suet feeders in the yard. Love watching the birds

NH Bluebirds in Winter
by: Anonymous

I live in central NH and have had 8 bluebirds to my feeder today, January 21, 2019.

It is -3 degrees today. I put out dried mealworms on the ground and suet balls too.

Try Suet
by: Gene

You might want to try offering suet, the mealworms would freeze anyway.

Look for a suet cake that has lots of fruit in it and lay it flat above the ground.

Bluebirds aren't clinging birds so don't use a suet feeder.

Of course, the squirrels will gobble it up if you let them. It can be a battle.

Worth a try for a couple of bucks.

Bluebirds in winter
by: Anonymous

I am in southern New Hampshire and do not have bluebird boxes but this morning Jan 21, I have at least three bluebirds in the trees and coming to my feeders.

It is below zero today. Love them but have never seen these in winter.

Wish I could buy mealworms now but my store doesn't have them.

7 Adult WV Bluebirds In One Box
by: Diane

I have two nest boxes on my front deck.

It was very, cold and snowy yesterday here in West Virginia.

I watched 7 adult bluebirds all pile into one box, stay for a bit, then all came out and went into the other box.

They spent several hours doing this. Sometimes, 4 in one and 3 in the other.

Sometimes, all in one. It was fun to watch! I hope they got warm.

Has anyone seen this before? Thanks

Bluebirds in Louisville, my
by: Anonymous

I am looking at two pairs of bluebirds right now In Louisville, ky.

Always have lots of winter birds but never bluebirds.

Snow and ice on the ground here. They are going in and out of the bluebird houses.

Have been seeing them since the week before Christmas!


Male Bluebird in Wisconsin in January!
by: Fran Wallace

I have had a beautiful bright blue male at my feeders the last three days...... We live in Wisconsin, so I am surprised to see this bird in January!

We have been feeding the birds for the past 20 years and this is the first time I have seen Bluebirds in the middle of Winter.

Blue birds in winter
by: Anonymous

I was so surprised to see two bluebirds on my carport columns and on a wagon.

Here in SW Oklahoma, today is strong north winds and temperature in the low 30's.

I am trying to find something to put out for them to eat until I can go into town to buy something.

I live in the country.

Winter bluebird nesting
by: Anonymous

We have 2 bluebird houses on opposite sides of the house. One house has 5 eggs in the nest.

Winter had been fairly mild, but we have had some pretty chilly weather lately.

We live in NW Florida. We had 3 nestings in warm weather but didn't realize they laid eggs now.


Flock of Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

Yesterday in Gorham, NY I saw a flock of Bluebirds at my friends house. It was exciting to see. There were well over a dozen.

car mirror
by: Gene

You may find our article helpful:
Cardinals and Windows It applies to most birds.

Blue birds in winter
by: Karen

We live in southern New Hampshire and this is the first year I have ever seen bluebirds.

They are truly beautiful and have been enjoying the berries on our holly bushes.

One bird likes to land on my car's driver-side mirror to see his/her reflection.

Blubirss in winter
by: Anonymous

We live in southwest Michigan on the Grand River and have been noticing six to eight bluebirds on our holly bushes, evidently eating the berries.

We were surprised because we thought they went south for the winter. Evidently not.

I guess we will look for a bluebird feeder, mealworms, and perhaps a heated bird bath, for these beautiful little birds.

Winter Bluebirds
by: Ken

I live in Westtown Twp., PA. Have an enclosed feeder and keep the birdbath full. Got two or three pair hanging around.

Still here
by: Laura

I live in Central valley. This summer I had Eastern bluebirds nest and stay in my backyard.

It is almost Christmas, we have had had Frost's and 14 inches of snow.

The bluebirds are still here. I fed all year round.

I am pleased to see these little guys but isn't it unusual?

bluebirds in champlain valley
by: don miller, retried prof

We have had at least 5 e. bluebirds at our suet feeder, here in williston, vt for the past two wks or so.

They come and go several times a day and definitely prefer suet over black oil sunflower seed.

We have been in williston for four winters and have never seen the e. bluebird here at this time of yr. before.

Previously, we lived in ne vt-lyndonvillle, for over 40 yrs. and never saw e. bluebirds at our feeders there in the late fall or winter mos.

There are several bluebird nest boxes around the condo association property where we now live and I wonder if they might be resting in one or more of those at night.


to Barbara
by: beeman

Hi Barb, not knowing where you live, if you think there are babies in your BB house go and look, they won't mind.

That being said, here in upstate New York, our eastern BB if they are feeding babies only two are doing the feeding, mom and dad, they don't usually allow anyone else near their birdhouse.

It will be a long time before we have nesting birds here, maybe late April?

My Bluebirds!
by: Barbara

I've got at least 4 Bluebirds flying in & out of their house & it looks like they're feeding babies? Is it possible there's babies?

Blue birds
by: mj doepke

I live in the Baraboo bluffs. I too was surprised a year ago when I took a walk on a cold day in January.

I was coming to the edge of a woods where there was a small creek and lots of brush.

I saw a couple of bluebirds. I couldn’t believe it.

I found this site on the internet and it affirmed of what I saw:)

Wisconsin December (25 degrees)
by: Mark

I visited Wollersheim Distillery and Winery in southern Wisconsin on December 7th, 2018, and saw 15 Eastern Bluebirds in an oak tree next to the buildings.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

I'm a lifelong resident of Wisconsin and have never seen BBs in December up here much less so many grouped together.

I'd be interested in comments about this.

Bluebird - Michigan
by: Anonymous

I have been a Bluebird landlord for many years and the bluebirds are here all year around in my back yard, the winter is very cold in the Michigan.

I found that the parent birds come back every year and their young are also stay with them at least for the first year.

This year I had 2 successful sets of babies 3 each time and they are here almost every day although the family may have lost couple of them but I try to count them whenever I see them.

This year I made a winterized bird house for them and so far I have not seen them stay in it.

They still like their old houses( maybe the new house is too big and they don't like it ).

They are always here very early in the morning before the sun is up around 6am to 7am and then back around 12pm and sometime they will reappear around 3pm.

I have always wondered where are they staying during the night in the winter. Any Idea??


Patience pays.
by: Ken

One of our nestboxes is in the back yard. A pair of bluebirds cased it, started a nest, and suddenly left.

Cleaned out the box. A pair of swallows cased it, started a nest, and suddenly left.

Cleaned out the box. Now, there's a nesting pair of bluebirds and the fledglings will appear soon!

Question for anyone, please answer
by: Morganton NC

My pair that "adopted me" have stopped coming.

Hopefully it is to start their own family.

If I invest in a bigger bb house as the video suggested, how do I insure other birds don't establish first or invade?

they've adopted me.
by: Morganton NC

Thank you for the video(youtube) that suggested I plug the bluebird house if house sparrows were nesting there.

Blues investigated it the 1st yr but sparrows built first.

This spring though I had a female strangely attracted to my car.

She then started landing on the upper rim of my storm door and peering in at me.

Needless to say, I started feeding her mealworms on my car.

Now she and her mate come 2-3 times a day watching for me to put out the worms.

They never seemed interested in my bluebird house but I am seeing more and more blues in our area. Yay!!

PA in Winter
by: Ken

This past January 2018, I noticed a pair of bluebirds roosting in my red maple tree.

Day after day, they were there.

After a month, the thought occurred that maybe they like this area.

So I installed a nesting box (near the tree, 20 feet from a lightly traveled suburban street).

They moved in in May and are sitting on their second brood.

After they had staked out the box, the male was sitting on the box. Another bird flew up.

The bluebird ran him off, then puffed up his feathers and flapped his wings.

After all, he was king of the hill! Also, put a box in the backyard.

The boxes are fairly close but out of sight of one another. There is a pair using that box, too.

Bluebirds in Maine through winter
by: Betsy

I have a large Ninebark in my side yard.

I was totally surprised and delighted when I noticed that I had Bluebirds and Robins in it, eating the berries in the middle of February!

I hadn't noticed them prior years and the crop of berries was very heavy this year.

Provide Food for Bluebirds
by: Gene

The best food you can provide for Bluebirds is Mealworms.

You may find them locally. Soak them in warm water for a few hours before placing them on a platform feeder.

COLD!!!!!
by: Anonymous

My heart broke a little yesterday when I saw two bluebirds out by my feeders.

They looked desperate and cold, with 11 inches of snow (in April!), and record low temps of 8 degrees F.

I hope the poor things survive.

We have a THICK blanket of snow, with another 5 inches forecast this Sunday.

What can I put out for them to eat?

winter nesting
by: Rich beeman

Today it was 19 degrees here in New Hartford this morning and the snow is half way up the blue bird house post.

Our female has been building a nest for the last few days.

I hope she isn't planning on laying eggs any time soon!

It will be interesting to watch, this is the earliest I have ever observed this?

New Residents!
by: Johnny West

We live in about 60 acres of woods in the middle of a national forest in Southern Indiana.

I had been hearing bluebirds all summer but never seeing them and figured they migrated in winter.

They have a very distinctive call, they sound like no other bird.

So, last fall we put up a bluebird house I had owned for a while but had yet to hang.

I was totally thrilled when a month ago they were hanging around it and checking it out.

I was too scared to open it and check for a nest thinking "If they smell me on it, they may stay away."

Then last week, we saw them going in and out, so the house passed inspection apparently.

And, oddly enough, there were three! Two females and a male. Is this normal?

Such a sight to see and such patient, careful birds who watch things attentively and still instead of constant movement like so many other small birds.

I am going to put out a platform feeder as soon as I can now that I know they like fruit and nuts too.

Lots of good info in these comments, thank you!

what Bluebirds Eat in Winter
by: Gene

Bluebirds survive winter by eating berries from shrubs that hold onto their fruit.

Sumac, Virginia Creeper, and cedar are a few samples.

There are insects in leaf litter on woodland floors.

You can offer mealworms to help out. Make sure to use a bluebird feeder because many birds eat mealworms.

You can purchase them dried and rehydrate them before placing them out.

BB here every winter in Northern IL
by: nancy

Years ago we had a friend who told us he had Blue Birds all winter long.

He always had a heated birdbath for all his birds and would say he had BB that came to it.

We always had a heated birdbath too but we lived in the woods. Well that was 10 years ago or more.

Now the last few years we have BB that come to our birdbath too in the winter.

I always thought they migrated in the winter until he told us he had them.

What in the world do they eat? We don't see them on the suet feeder. They don't eat seeds. Are they surviving on water alone?

Do they store bugs somewhere? They are so beautiful and I hate to see them die in our very cold winters.

We have several BB houses and seem to get several pairs even in the woods.

We use to have Cardinals but the nasty cowbirds have made it so that they are becoming extinct in our woods.

I am so sick of seeing the Cardinals feeding cowbirds every year!

They don't seem to bother the BB though.

our bbs winterize
by: mark n sandy

As is normal, here in CNY our bbs leave sometime in August and we don't see them for several months.

But in November or December, they come back and we start feeding them again.

We lie between Syracuse and Utica.

I got my bb wings from the nicest bird lady ever, Bet Zimmerman, now Smith, from Sialis.org.

She told me how to attract and protect them.

We have fought the "cat invasion," Blow flies, and House Sparrows but ours stay all winter even into these sub-zero temperatures.

suet
by: Gene

Place your suet on the side so they can perch and eat rather than trying to cling and feed.

It is common for them to eat suet. You may want to offer mealworms too.

Blue Birds
by: Anonymous

We are having bluebirds come to our suet feeders. They are beautiful.

Is it normal for them to eat suet? Our feeders are on our patio?

We have bluebirds.
by: Anonymous

Knoxville, TN

We had the most beautiful experience with bluebirds yesterday.

My father had built all 8 children bluebird houses a month before he became very sick and later died, 7 years ago.

Yesterday we were at our Moms house preparing for her Wake and funeral.

Looking out the kitchen window we saw 5 to 6 bluebirds flying in and around the tree next to Dad's bluebird house.

Then we saw a flock of finches take their place. It was a beautiful display of God's glory.

Later we saw 8 bluebirds flying next to their old tennis court landing on the fence and power line, one even stopped and stared at me outside their den window.

It was beautiful and timely.

Bluebirds in Wisconsin’s January weather?
by: Mj Doepke

I believe I saw bluebirds today while walking in a woods that has a creek running through it.

At the end of the woods is an area of tall grass and lots of bushes.

Do some bluebirds stay through our harsh winter weather in Wisconsin?

And yes, there are bluebird houses in a field nearby.

Good advice!
by: Jimmy in Georgia

Thank you, Gene, that's a great idea! I'll remove the old material and replace it with fresh hay.

Temperatures are supposed to be in the upper teens by Tuesday (1/16/18) and we are actually expecting up to 4 inches of snow accumulation as far south as Dothan or the Florida Panhandle.

Want to keep our blue feathered friends warm and happy!

Thanks again for the advice and hope you have a great new year!
Jimmy

Cleaning Birdhouse
by: Gene

Why not clean the house to get rid of any pests/parasites and place some clean straw for warmth?

They'll start claiming nest sites in your area by late February!

Clean out nest boxes now?
by: Jimmy in Georgia

Greetings everyone and happy new year! Interesting story and comments on bluebirds.

Pretty cold here in Southwest Georgia today but I have seen at least six beautiful bluebird pairs in one area around my bird houses.

Just wanting to know if this is a good or bad time to clean out the nest boxes?

I have usually cleaned the boxes out in the winter to be assured of not disturbing an active nest.

As it sounds like in some comments the birds maybe wintering here in the south using the boxes and old nest to remain warm and protect themselves from the cold.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions on whether or not to clean out the boxes or leave the nesting material as they are for now. Best regards, Jimmy

Bluebird in Ga
by: Lisa

We are in Ga.between Atlanta and Macon. Today we saw at least 6 bluebirds in our front yard.

I have always liked them but never saw them in winter...will put out food now.

Bluebird visit
by: Kathy Miklovic

We had a pair of beautiful bluebirds visit us yesterday, January 6th, 2018.

It was a very pleasant surprise.

We have a "food court" including 14 feeders, trays of corn for the deer, and heated water dishes.

Thank you for what you do.

Blue birds in winter
by: Linda W.

Loved coming across your site and story about the bluebirds.

I live In Gahanna Ohio and was so surprised to find at least 3 pairs of bluebirds at my backyard feeders.

I live in a suburban neighborhood.

This past Spring I put up 1 bluebird house but unfortunately, no bluebirds nested.

I'm hoping to get an earlier start to see if a pair will nest there.

But I am so thrilled they are still feeding here.

I will do some research to see if there is something more I can do for them during these fridged winter days.

Bluebirds in Christmas wreath
by: Anonymous

I'm in central Alabama and had a pair of bluebirds nest in a birdhouse hanging on my front porch this summer.

I have had a Christmas wreath on my front windows since after Thanksgiving.

I've had a pair of birds perching in the wreath that I would startle out coming in and out the door.

I'm pretty certain they're bluebirds, possibly the same pair from the summer, since the birdhouse is hanging close by.

I'm not sure why they're getting in the wreath unless it's to be close to the warm house.

I'd planned on taking it down tomorrow, but am wondering if I should leave it for now because we're expecting temps in the 20s every night this week.


Bluebirds in northwest Indiana
by: Janet

We live o La Porte, Indiana, and have a flock of Bluebirds frequenting our heated birdbath.

The most I have seen at one time is 14.

There is a bluebird house but evidently, they are sheltering elsewhere and drinking and eating in our backyard.

We started putting out mealworms, but they did not touch them until we began dropping them in the warm water of the birdbath, which rehydrated them nicely.

We hope they survive this snowy cold weather!

Bluebirds on New Years Eve 2017
by: J Smith

We saw at least 6 bluebirds eating at feeders and on the wild grapes hanging from our maple tree, are these passing through or wintering?

Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

I live in Northwest Indiana and have never seen bluebirds in winter and rarely in summer, as I am always on the look out, but hardly ever see them.

Today when the windchill is 20-30 below, there are at least 10 pairs sitting on my fence where vines and trees overhang. I was just amazed by the sight!

I don’t feed the birds, as we get too many raccoons, skunks, and other critters at the feeders, so I was astounded to see my yard filled with bluebirds and cardinals this morning.

The ground is covered in several inches of snow, so I guess I am going to have to make a trip to Wildbirds Unlimited for a feeder, mealworms, and seeds.

It really brought joy to my heart to see them!

Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

12/29/17- Near Hockessin, DE - My husband commented on the number of birds at our feeder, including bluebirds.

I quickly replied bluebirds migrate.

"Not these two!" he replied. And he was right! Beautiful against the snow this morning!

5 bluebird in Hockessin, Delaware 12/15/17
by: Anonymous

5 bluebirds from this spring/summer of 2017 returned on 12/15/17 with at least 5 in the family in Hockessin, Delaware.

Readily took to mealworm feeder and inspecting nest box.

I expect them to fatten up on my mealworms and head south but who knows?

Winter bluebirds
by: Steve

Steve in Dover NH
Three bluebirds at my duet feeder are investigating three houses.

We have 5 inches of snow! Is this something new?

Eastern bluebird
by: Doug

I live in central Illinois, it’s December 12 I'm seeing 2 pairs at the heated fountain in our backyard.

I wonder if they are staying for the winter?

Cleveland, Ohio
by: firefoxx211 @yahoo.com

Just saw some beautiful bluebirds out my back window this morning.

Two beautiful males eating some mealworms and it's 23 degrees out there! Not sure about seeing any females yet!

Windows and Birds
by: Gene

Please see: Birds and Windows/Mirrors

SW Virginia Dec 7
by: Anonymous

We have a pair that have just hatched babies in our front yard house.

It is scheduled to get very cold this weekend.

This particular pair relish attacking the windows of our cars and leaving a lovely mess on all the door handles.

good comment
by: Gene

Thanks for contributing Kristi. This is the primary reason for seeing nesting material brought to nest boxes.

Update to my Bluebird post
by: Anonymous

Hello Folks.

I just wanted to let you know that I reached out to a few other fellow birders.

I discovered one birder who got to watch a family of bluebirds add material to a nestbox in November last year.

Then around dusk, they all got in the box and huddled together for the night.

His observations uncovered that the bluebirds were doing this as a means to stay warm, not to nest.

Let's hope the same is true this year.



I would encourage folks to watch the nest boxes as late into the evening as possible to see what is happening.

I'd love to hear about your experiences.

I'm going to post a video on my blog birdmentor in a week about this.

I'd love to hear what you have seen.

Feel free to share your stories in the comments section below the video. *should be up by next Wednesday at the latest.

All the best,
Kristi

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