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Attracting Bluebirds

Bluebirds are a welcome sight throughout the United States and most of Canada, and attracting them to your area is a great way to help increase their population. Adding nesting boxes to your sanctuary and placing mealworm and suet feeders near the roost entices bluebirds to stay near your home.

Attracting bluebirds to roost in your yard is not just an exciting addition to your birding hobby; it also helps ensure the survival of the bluebird population. All three species of bluebirds, the eastern, western, and mountain bluebird, suffered severe population losses in the mid twentieth century due to habitat loss and human interaction. Many birders enjoy having bluebirds close by to enjoy their song and their impressive visual displays and aerial maneuvers.

When choosing a bluebird house, be sure to examine the specifications carefully. Your bluebird house should have cross ventilation gaps, drainage holes, and a roof which overhangs the hole by a minimum of 2 inches. The floor and entrance hole size is dependent upon the species of bluebird you hope to attract. Western and mountain bluebirds prefer houses with 5"x 5" floors and entrance holes 1 9/16" in diameter. Eastern bluebirds will also occupy the same houses as Western or mountain bluebirds but will also tolerate a smaller 4"x 4" floor and an entrance hole 1 1/2" in diameter.

To have the best chances of attracting bluebirds, place bluebird houses on poles or posts, ideally 4 to 5 feet above the ground. Open areas are more prone to habitation than wooded areas, so place boxes 100 feet or so away from shrubs or tree clusters. The distance will help nestlings when learning to fly. You may wish to add sparrow or wren houses nearby to reduce competition for your bluebird houses.

In addition to offering housing, place an offering of mealworms, suet, and berries in your birding sanctuary. The staple of bluebirds' diets are insects and berries, and can be enhanced with food from a feeder. If you choose to feed live mealworms, opt for an enclosed feeder with clear sides. This allows birds to see the feed, but prevents the worms from escaping from the reservoir. Live mealworms are preferred in the summer months, but if your bluebirds remain in the area in colder months, you may also want to try feeding roasted mealworms. Adding suet in caged or log style feeders may also help attract bluebirds. Berries, raisins, and peanuts are a favorite addition to bluebirds' diets.

Creating sanctuary for these beautiful creatures is both rewarding and beneficial to the environment. Consider hosting bluebirds in your yard or garden. BestNest carries a wide selection of bluebird houses, bluebird feeders, mealworms, and suet in our Wild Birds department for all your birding needs.