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Erin Zamzow, DVM


Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.


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Bluebirds Are A Big Attraction


Bluebirds are among the favorites when it comes to backyard birders and the birds they love to watch. They are loved for their bright beautiful colors and their cute little frames. The songs they sing are truly straight from heaven. People who love them spend time and money attracting them and inviting them to visit and stay in their backyards. When you compare their popularity to many of the other wild birds, bluebirds are a big attraction.

Aside from the fact they are pretty to look at there are many things about bluebirds that most people don't realize. Here are some facts about bluebirds that will help you to understand their ways a little better.

As far as their feeding habits go bluebirds mainly eat snails, earthworms, and berries. When they hatch their young chicks they primarily feed them insects. They usually find a low place close to the ground to watch for and catch insects that hover around ground level.

Bluebirds are monogamous breeders. Their eggs are one solid color (pale blue) and unmarked. They like having their nests near the edge of the forest with a clear vision of open range. Many times they build their nests in cavities made by woodpeckers. They use clumps of grass, feathers, hair, twigs, and pine needles to line their nests.

Courting Displays And Defenses For Bluebirds:

When itís time for the male to go courting he will sing and flutter directly in front of the female. They will spread their tail and keep their wings half open. Then they will sit beside their prospective mate and preen her. Sometimes they may even offer her some food.

Bluebirds will defend their nest valiantly against sparrows and swallows. However, they will not attempt to defend against starlings. The starlings prove to be too much for the little bluebirds to handle. The sparrows are one of their biggest enemies and will kill both adults and chicks.

Bluebird Houses And Why They Are So Vital To The Population Of Bluebirds:

With logging and new home sub-divisions clearing off the landscape many important trees are being felled that are homes to bluebirds. Even dead trees and branches contain nest holes that bluebirds use. This also increases the competition for bluebirds from other cavity-nesting birds looking for homes. This is where nesting boxes are needed to help give the bluebirds homes and a way to survive.

People who love Bluebirds and want them around are encouraged to place Bluebird houses in their yards. This helps the species to find homes and to combat the decrease in natural habitat.

The Eastern Bluebird and Western Bluebird will winter mainly within the United States while the Mountain Bluebird chooses to winter in south and central Mexico. They are facing fierce competition for nesting sites against House Sparrows, Starlings, Swallows, and Flickers.

The Mountain Bluebird has been successful in defending its nesting hole against Swallows, House Wrens, and House Sparrows. Their young become independent from 22 to 28 days after hatching. Once a Bluebird has been reared in a Bluebird House they will imprint to it and seek out that type of home for breeding when they mature.

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