The wide-spread use of man-made bluebird houses has already begun
to bring back the once-great bluebird population, but the rescue of these wonderful birds
is not yet complete. You can help in this endeavor by creating a bluebird
habitat on your property. Please read on...
The bluebird has a brilliant blue color. With its sweet voice and docile
disposition, it was one of the most common birds some fifty years ago. Since
then, the bluebird's population has dwindled approximately 90% due to a few new
feisty competitors and the severe loss of natural nesting sites to land
Mounting Your Bluebird House
The selection of a proper location for mounting your bluebird house is
critical. Bluebirds do best in a reasonably open area with a few scattered
trees. Open fields work well as long as there are fences or other items for
the bluebirds to perch on. Bluebirds do not like to nest in wooded areas.
Instead, they prefer to dwell along the edge of a forest or in an open
Bluebirds rarely nest within urban areas, except at their outer
fringes because of the competition for food from starlings and sparrows.
Bluebirds will use birdhouses mounted at almost any height, but very low
mounting increases the danger of predators and very high mounting invites
house sparrows. High mounting also makes the birdhouse difficult to clean. As
a general rule, the best height for the bluebird house is 5 to 7 feet above
It is best not to paint or treat the natural wood of the house or
place it in an area where you will be using pesticides.
When first leaving the nest, young bluebirds instinctively fly to a tree or
other item that will allow them to perch up off the ground. It is
recommended that you face the bluebird house toward a tree with low branches,
a large bush, or a relatively close fence.
For your birdhouse to be successfully used by bluebirds, it is very
important to keep a watch on its occupants. It is especially important to run
off any sparrows who may have a desire to take over the house. Opening the
birdhouse for a quick inspection will not frighten or harm the bluebirds. But
don't open a bluebird house after the nestlings are two weeks old or they may
leave the nest prematurely.
Clean your bluebird house after each nesting. You
should remove the old nesting material and check for any parasites that may be
living in the box. Leave the house available during the winter season in order
to provide roosting places for birds during nighttime. Inspect and clean each
bluebird house again before spring arrives.
Creating A Bluebird Trail
A bluebird trail consists of several bluebird houses spaced a hundred yards or
so apart. Place the houses in suitable locations and arrange them in a way
such that they may be conveniently monitored. The minimum number of bluebird
houses along a bluebird trail should be five or six.
You will have the best
chance for success with a bluebird trail in an area where bluebirds are
already often observed. If you are attempting to attract bluebirds to an area
where they don't usually frequent, begin the trail in a modest fashion. Young
birds will usually stay put in the area or return to it to nest.
Bluebirds tend to be very eager eaters. They will eat at bird tables, trays
mounted on posts, suet feeders, and window feeders. Peanuts are one of their
favorite foods. They also love pecans, baked apples, raisins, white
bread, cornbread, pie crust, doughnuts, and cottage cheese. A steady
supply of water is also critical to attracting bluebirds to your chosen
Bluebirds are very beautiful and docile creatures. Create a habitat for them
and you can enjoy many years of enjoyment by having them around!
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