A very good type of feeder is the Bluebird Jail feeder. This feeder (pictured at the right), was designed to exclude larger birds, such as Robins and Starlings, from getting at the mealworms or other food, before the Bluebirds can get it.
Offer mealworms at your feeders. Feeding live mealworms can pose some challenges, but bluebirds find them irresistible. You can even build your own mealworm feeder to attract bluebirds.
Hanging Bluebird Mealworm Bird Feeder
Bluebirds like nest boxes and feeders out in the open.
Feeding Bluebirds in the Yard
There are a variety of foods that can be added to bird feeders to tempt hungry bluebirds. To supplement bluebirds’ diet at the feeders, consider offering: Mealworms, either live, dried, canned, or roasted. Small chunks of fruits, such as apples or pears.
Bluebirds will probably never visit a bird feeding station that ONLY serves typical feeder foods like sunflower, safflower, Nyjer (thistle), peanuts, etc. This is because bluebirds naturally feed mostly on insects, snails, worms, and other invertebrates during the warmer months.
According to two different studies, 26% – 44% of adult bluebirds return to breed at the same site where they nested the previous year. Therefore, there is about a one in three chance that the bluebirds you have in your nest box this year will return to the same box the following year.
Bluebirds prefer large expanses of short grass with a clear flight path, ideally facing a field. Try not to place the house too close to feeders. Make sure it is mounted 5 to 10 feet off the ground. Bluebirds do not tolerate swaying birdhouses, so anchor the nest box firmly to a smooth round pipe.
nest. The house should face south or southeast. Selecting a suitable location for the bluebird house is of house. They should be set out by February 15.
Most specifically, the European starling and house sparrows are known to brutally kill eastern bluebirds and several other native cavity nesting birds in their nests.More videos on YouTube.
|Eastern Bluebird Predators||Threat level||Protection Measure|
|Squirrels||High threat of predation||Stovepipe baffle|
Bluebirds will also eat a wide variety of berries, such as sumac, holly, and elderberry. Adding these berry-producing shrubs to the yard will help create a bluebird-friendly landscape. Suet offered as crumbles or shreds can also be valuable for attracting bluebirds, particularly with insect or fruit blends.
Eastern Bluebirds In A Tree Cavity
In natural cavities, birds often must deal with old nesting material that is already present. Nest selection of natural cavities is quite different in comparison to our handy nest boxes. With a finite number of natural cavities to choose from, most birds can’t afford to be too picky.
Migration. Resident to medium-distance migrant. Bluebirds leave breeding grounds in the north of their range to winter in the southeastern U.S. or Mexico. Populations in the northern part of their range are entirely migratory, spending winters in the southeastern United States or Mexico.
Bluebirds are very beneficial birds, as they consume large amounts of insects. Bluebirds used to be very common, but loss of habitat, pesticides and predators have taken their toll on these beautiful creatures.
Bluebirds are one of few species who will fly-in a mealworm feeder for worms. Designed with either a wire cage or plexi-glass windows with entry and exits, the holes are sized the same as a bluebird birdhouse entrance. If you’ve got mountain bluebirds, most fly-in feeders are available with slightly larger entrance.
Hummingbirds (feed from flowering bushes and vines) – 3-6 feet. Sparrows and towhees (ground feeders) – 1-5 feet. Chickadees and titmice (mid-level tree feeders) – 5-10 feet. Bluebirds (mid-levels and ground feeding) – 5-7 feet.
Where do bluebirds sleep at night? Sleeping places include pastures, orchards, parks, and meadows. Eastern Bluebirds will build nests in tree cavities to protect their young, in a behavior similar to that of woodpeckers. Bluebirds will sometimes construct their nests within abandoned woodpecker holes of trees.
Bluebirds prefer earthy tones, such as the colors of grass and dirt. For this reason, shades of brown and green are good choices. Bright colors attract other birds and predators, which is detrimental to bluebirds.
Bluebirds begin scouting out nest boxes as early as late February, or even earlier in the south. If conditions are favorable, they sometimes continue nesting into August or even September.
Death. Eastern Bluebirds mostly only form a pair with other birds if one of their partners dies. Shockingly, finding and mating with a new partner may occur a few long minutes after one bird from the pair dies.
She usually stays on the nest at night. While they may sit on eggs occasionally during the egg laying period, “full-time” regular incubation doesn’t start until all eggs are laid. They may wait about a week if weather is still cold.
Do bluebirds migrate? Shouldn’t they be heading south for the winter?” asks Ann Forth of Rockton, Ontario. Kenn and Kimberly: Although many eastern bluebirds do migrate south in fall, others stay behind. Every winter, small flocks of bluebirds remain through the season in scattered areas all over southern Ontario.
So, if your property is on the edge of the woods, or if you have a brushy patch of land, make sure to place your bluebird house at least 50 feet away, 200 feet away to be safe.
Once they become familiar with the routine, the mealworms should be placed inside the feeder. The location of the feeder can also be varied. Initially one can place the feeder close (~25 feet) to the nestbox. Then incrementally move it farther away (to ~100 feet) as the bluebirds become familiar with it.
Height: Bluebirds nest within a wide range of heights, from two to 50 feet. Mounting at eye level provides easy checking; however, if cats or other predators are problems, hang nest boxes at least six to eight feet from the ground.
You SHOULD NOT mount bluebird boxes on the sides of trees, fences, or buildings. These are very difficult if not impossible to protect from climbing predators. Also, do NOT hang bluebird boxes. They seem to prefer fixed boxes that are not swinging randomly in the wind.