One of the most vibrant birds is the Bluebird. There are 3 varieties of bluebirds in North America, the Eastern, the Western and the Mountain Bluebirds. They are such energetic, beautiful and delightful birds, you will be thrilled when they decide to make your backyard their home. The Western and Mountain Bluebird territory overlaps and they are found as suggested in the western parts of North America. They are slightly larger than the Eastern Bluebirds so if you are in the western part of the country, buy your Bluebird houses with a 1-9/16" opening hole. The Eastern Bluebirds use a 1-1/2" opening in their Bluebird house.
Types of Housing
Over the years, land has been cleared for industrial and housing developments, highways and shopping malls. The Bluebirds natural habitat declined and so did the Bluebirds. Compounding the problem was the introduction of the imported species, the House Sparrow and the European Starling. Both Sparrows and Starlings are cavity nesters and both are very aggressive. Sparrows can enter any hole the Bluebirds can and will chase away the more timid Bluebird. The Bluebird nest will be made out of soft grasses and pine needles. A Sparrow nest will be made from sticks. If you see a Sparrow building a nest in your Bluebird house, open it up and remove the Sparrow nest by throwing it in the trash. Never let it lay underneath the house, the Sparrow will quickly put it right back! Starlings cannot get into a 1-1/2" inch entrance hole, so the Bluebird house will keep them out.
About 36 years ago, the North American Bluebird Society was formed to recover Bluebird populations across the country. The onset of Bluebird trails was established and many Bluebird enthusiasts monitor the Bluebird houses to ensure they are in good shape, not invaded by undesirable birds and that the nests are cleaned out timely so another brood of babies can be hatched. Bluebird houses should be built to specific sizes and include proper ventilation and drainage so the nest stays cool and dry. All Birds Choice Bluebird houses comply with the requirements of a good home for the Bluebirds. Some have viewing windows so that you can watch the eggs, hatching and baby birds without disturbing them. Our Recycled Ultimate Bluebird house (SNULTCAM) also comes with a camera so that you can watch them on your television.
Best Place to Position the Bird House
The Bluebird house should not be attached to a tree or fence post. It is too easy for predators to climb to it and harm the Bluebirds. The Birds Choice Bluebird pole works well for mounting the house so that the entrance hole is approximately 5' above the ground. A round pipe also works. Ideally locate the house near an open space so the Bluebirds are able to search for food. Baffles can be used on the pole also to discourage predators.
Type of Food
Bluebirds eat insects, but love mealworms. If you have Bluebirds in the area, consider feeding them mealworms. Mealworms can be placed in a Birds Choice Bluebird feeder or just offered in any container. Put mealworms out about the same time each day and you will have the bluebirds laying in wait for their treat. Mealworms are the larval form of the darkling beetle and not really a worm. They provide nutritious food supplements to the Bluebirds and makes it easy for the Bluebird parents to keep their babies fed when insects are scarce. You can buy live mealworms which should be kept refrigerated or freeze-dried mealworms. Add some vegetable oil or water to the freeze-dried mealworms before feeding them.
- Bluebirds usually have 2 broods per season, but 3 are possible.
- Bluebirds lay about 4 to 5 light blue eggs.
- The incubation period for bluebird eggs is 12 to 14 days.
- Bluebirds are also attracted to water.