Bluebirds are pairing up and scouting for nesting sites NOW! Are you ready?
Eastern Bluebirds begin defining and defending their nesting territories earlier than other species. Generally, starting the end of February and early March.
The Backyard Naturalist team is overjoyed to report that we’re seeing Bluebirds very active at our store feeders and baths right now! We’re keeping feeders filled with freeze-dried meal worms, sunflower chips, peanut pieces and Bluebird Nuggets.
Want Bluebirds to choose your nestbox?
If you’re seeing Bluebirds in your backyard, offer some incentives to encourage “house-hunting” Bluebirds to choose your nest box. The following are prospective Bluebird parents’ key considerations.
(You can also visit our dedicated Bluebird page for more specific info or shop our Bluebird Essentials here.)
A Clean Nest Box
As a good backyard bird host, you already know this! Start with a clean box and always clear between broods and after the last one of the season. If you haven’t already, go do it NOW!!! Bluebirds normally have 2-3 broods each season, so you’ll need to clear out the whole nest after each brood fledges. A clean box will encourage re-nesting in the same location!
A Safe, Sparrow-resistant Nest Box
Sparrow-resistant boxes are criticial to keep out the Bluebird’s deadly nemesis: The House Sparrow! We recommend Slot Boxes or the Gilbertson Nest Box along with dedicated monitoring. For more on this, ask us at the store or see our web page “House Sparrows: Deadly Foreign Invaders.
A Well-placed Nest Box
Position boxes in open areas at least a hundred yards apart facing the openness of a yard, meadow or field. Mount bird houses on poles with snake baffles—even if you don’t regularly see snakes sneaking around in your yard.
Food & Water
Bluebirds are also looking for abundant food and fresh, accessible water. Increase your chances of hosting Bluebird families by adding these two simple, extra incentives to your backyard.
Bluebirds, who mainly eat insects and fruit, could possibly be tempted to your feeders.
Even in our humble, little habitat next to our parking lot, Bluebirds are visiting our feeders daily! We’re offering them freeze-dried meal worms, sunflower chips, peanut pieces and Bluebird Nuggets.
Keep your bird baths fresh and filled. Access to free-flowing water is critical for wild birds and your bird bath is another excellent way to tempt Bluebirds to your backyard. See our Winter, Water and Wild Birds website page.
Even if you don’t live near Bluebirds, you can still help them!
Support the Eastern Bluebird Resurgence! (See our blog post about where it all started.) You can also join our local Maryland Bluebird Society.
Share your Bluebird sightings and photos on our Facebook page! Keep us posted!
Debi, Mike and The Backyard Naturalist Team are always happy to answer any questions to help enhance your Bluebird experience.
Debi has been a Bluebird Mentor for Montgomery County for over 30 years!