Bluebirds are one of the most famous birds in the US and have enchanted people’s attention and interest for a long time. Recognized by their lovely blue plumage, these little birds are a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae). These colorful North American birds have three species. In this article, you’ll learn how to build or buy the right Bluebird Bird House.
Males are bright blue with a reddish-brown breast and throat and are easy to recognize. While, female Eastern Bluebirds also look alike, but the tones are a little more subdued.
Western Bluebirds are not usually seen in fields and meadows, similar to Eastern and Mountain bird species. Instead, they go for the woods.
Their preferred habitat seems to be places that have been burned or logged, as these areas are open but still hold several trees. These species tend to live near the ground to grab insects quickly, which are their favorite meal. They can frequently be spotted perching on low limbs, signals, and fence posts.
Male Mountain Bluebirds possess lovely sky-blue feathers on their heads, wings, and back. Females are a little complicated as they are mostly grayish-brown, with shades of blue on their wings and tail. One can witness Mountain Bluebirds in open spaces, such as prairies, meadows, or pastures.
About Bluebird Bird Houses
All Bluebird species are cavity-nesting, and they need secure, reliable spots to raise their young ones. With the proper bird house positioned to draw residents, any birdwatcher can become a good Bluebird landlord.
Open woodlands, golf courses, parks, forest edges, near grazing land, or nearby farmlands are perfect sites to encourage nesting birds. They will also love nesting in backyard homes, but make sure there is sufficient open space for foraging and nearby perches to use.
As Bluebirds will use wooden bird houses as winter roosting places, there is no specific and suitable time to set out habitations for them—every time is excellent.
They start searching for suitable nesting sites from late February, so keep your homes clean, maintained, and ready for nesting birds before February 15.
Once a bird house kit is installed, it needs to be checked regularly but can be left out all year round for nesting birds.
Size of Bluebird Bird Houses
Selecting a suitable size for a Bluebird home is necessary to make sure they are happy and safe, and other birds are less able to control the house.
The hole size is an essential dimension for a powerful and safe Bluebird house. The hole size should be 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter for Eastern and Western Bluebirds. However, Mountain Bluebirds hardly prefer a little bigger holes that are 1 9/16 inches (4.0 cm) in diameter.
The access hole must be 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) above the floor of the Bluebird house. So, the growing nestlings can stay comfortably inside the opening without falling. This space also provides blockage for predators to reach babies or to brood adults from the outside.
Interior Floor Space
Ideally, the interior floor space should be 5×5 inches (12.7×12.7 cm) to serve the entire brood with a comfortable, warm, and cozy shelter.
Total House Height
The entire height of a Bluebird home can range from 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm). A smaller house can easily give predators access, and a taller house can create difficulty for young birds to exit when they can safely leave the
nest. It is essential to buy or build a bird house with proper dimensions. So, birders looking for bird houses should carefully check the size and proportions that are perfect for Bluebirds.
Bluebird Birdhouse Maintenance
There are several steps you can practice to manage Bluebirds and encourage them to take up home.
● Provide grass clippings, small twigs, pine needles, and related nesting materials for comfortable nest construction.
● You should clean the house after each brood to support adults to raise other birds at the exact location, which will in addition connect their affection to the site.
● Avoid using insecticide nearby and consider giving suet (shreds, crumbles, or other small chunks) or mealworms for hungry adults and brood as an easy food source.
● You can open bird houses for nest inspection once or twice a week without disturbing the birds. Regular house analyses will provide quick detection of problems and will keep your record more precise.
● You can grease the mounting pole or apply “Tree Tanglefoot” to the pole or tree to control ants. Other insects such as wasps can be controlled physically and with pyrethrum powder or spray.
● If nestlings or eggs disappear mysteriously, a raccoon, snake, house cat, or other predator is normally the offender. You can use a metal baffle or some type of barrier on the pole or tree to control these robbers from climbing the house.
Building or Buying Bluebird Bird Houses
Here, you’ll get some great links and information about Bluebird house plans.
Bluebird House Plans That Keeps Nestlings Cool: These methods practice air-gap construction and heat convection to bring cool air into the bird house on warm days.
North American Bluebird Society: Here, you will get amazing Bluebird nest box specifications and five other different styles of designs. NABS is one of the useful sites for information on Bluebird house plans.
Western and Mountain Bluebird House Plans: This is a fairly easy box to build for Mountain and Western Bluebirds. The enormous roof offers extra protection from predators and rains.
Eastern Bluebird House Plan: This is a bird house plan for cavity-nesting birds. You can use it for Eastern Bluebirds.
Each of the above nest box designs will likely draw Bluebirds. The essential part is getting the access hole size accurate, notably eliminating massive pest birds such as Starlings.
If You Can’t Build a House
There are Bluebird bird house kits available that may be adequate or adapted for birds, or you can reach a regional Bluebird society for support. You can also buy bird house kits for kids as a birthday present or for your wife as a wedding anniversary gift.
Building sufficient houses for a Bluebird trail is an excellent Eagle Scout plan and several social woodworking classes or clubs would be glad to give a hand with Bluebird house development.
Bluebird Nests in Birdhouses
Eastern Bluebirds set their nests in nest boxes or natural cavities, or other human-made shelters. These birds usually choose old Woodpecker holes in oak trees or dead pine among available natural holes, up to 50 feet above the soil.
More adult Bluebirds are more likely to prefer nesting in a nest box than younger ones. However, individual birds frequently change their choices between nesting attempts.
After a female gets attracted to a male bird and chooses to nest to his nest site (by moving stuff in and out of the opening, perching, and fluttering his wings), she does all the nest work.
She forms the nest by loosely weaving pine needles and grasses together, then lining it with fresh grasses and sometimes Turkey feathers or horsehair.
Nest boxes in some areas are so popular that an individual site may contain several suitable holes. Females frequently create nests in each available hole but usually only use one of them. Bluebirds may utilize the same nest for several broods. You can set goals to bird-watch for these Bluebirds after you have placed your bird house in your backyard and record your results.