Attracting Bluebirds to Your Bluebird House
Many people really enjoy watching, feeding and learning about birds. This hobby offers one an opportunity to appreciate, delight, and connect to the natural world.
Bluebirds are a type of thrush with gorgeous blue coloring, preferring open spaces with nearby cover. The natural habitat of bluebirds is open fields, prairies, and meadows with few trees or shrubs. They will sit on low perches, waiting for insects to wander too close. They will suddenly fly down on the unsuspecting bug. During the winter, when insect activity is low, bluebirds depend on many kinds of wild berries for their food supply.
Bluebirds are cavity nesting birds, meaning that they naturally nest in hollowed-out parts of a dead or dying tree. They are further referred to as secondary cavity nesters because they cannot dig out their own cavities in tree trunks like woodpeckers. One of the most utilized nesting locations for bluebirds is the man-made bluebird houses that mimic the natural cavities found in dead and decaying trees. This natural habitat has been reduced by removal of old trees thought to be of no benefit to wildlife. Another cause for the decline of the bluebird population was the competition for nesting sites caused by an increase in the population of House Sparrows and European Starlings. Forested habitats have been reduced in recent years, limiting available areas for living and nesting.
The decline in the population of these birds in the 1960s and 1970s has resulted in an interest towards conservation of this species. Blue bird houses have partially replaced the natural cavities created by woodpeckers. The popularity of this endeavor throughout this country is good news for bluebirds. Bluebirds have adopted these new homes. Some individuals and organizations have gone a step further to help this beautiful species. They have constructed bluebird trails. A bluebird trail is a series of bluebird boxes placed along an area of suitable habitat. Open rural areas with a few trees and low or sparse ground cover is the best habitat to use for the construction of a bluebird trail. Because of these activities, the number of bluebirds being reported is once again on the increase.
It is important to erect your bluebird house facing open areas and about five feet above the ground. This height reduces the likelihood of predators attacking your nest box. If you are adding more than one house, space them about 100 feet apart. Be sure to check your house on a regular basis to make sure that House Sparrows or other birds have not moved in. Most people remove the nesting materials of house sparrows and starlings.
Individual conservation efforts and those by groups have indeed contributed to recent increases in populations of this species. By feeding and providing nesting boxes, you to can be involved with bluebird conservation.
Ready to purchase a bluebird nesting box? Check out our bluebird house collection. Want to learn more about bluebirds? Check out the other articles below.
- Introduction to bluebirds
- How to attract bluebirds
- Protecting bluebirds from house sparrows
- Bluebird nest boxes
- Monitoring your bluebird nest box
- Video - Bird Man Mel's Attracting Bluebirds
- Attracting Bluebirds to Your Bluebird Feeder