Bluebirds are easy to recognize and beloved birds. The happy melody sung by a bluebird will enhance almost any garden. Learn how to attract bluebirds by setting up their nesting box properly and choosing the right feed.
Bluebird population decline
From the 1950’s to 1990’s bluebird populations took an alarming dip. The bluebird population fought against an onslaught of construction and urbanization, followed by a spike in the House Sparrow and European Starlings populations. Both put Bluebirds at risk. For this reason, avid bird watchers and gardeners began adding Bluebird houses to their yards and gardens to help rebuild the population.
How to attract Bluebirds
A powerful way to help increase the Bluebird population and add their beautiful songs to your yard is to start your own Bluebird trail!
A Bluebird trail is a series of Bluebird houses designed to make maintaining a large Bluebird population easy. Bluebird trails can be created in your own yard–if it is large. However, they are often a cooperative effort between many property owners to help increase the population of Bluebirds in an area where they are at risk (Read more about Bluebird Trails).
If you don’t have enough space for a trail, consider two or three Bluebird houses in a small yard. Bluebird nesting boxes, unlike many other birdhouses, can be placed as close as 100 yards to each other.
Choosing a Bluebird House
The birdhouse you choose should follow these specifications:
- Entrance hole of 1.5’’ in diameter,
- Rustic interior, with no paint or stain,
- Drainage in the base (sometimes this is something you can add with a drill),
- No perch, to prevent predators from entering the nest.
Mounting your Bluebird house
Ensuring that predators cannot reach the nest of your Bluebird population is essential to their survival. To do this, mount the nesting box on a pole which is at least four feet high. Nesting boxes should be at least a few yards from trees, platforms or fences–ensuring that predators cannot climb or jump to the nest.
Bluebirds forage for small insects and fruit. It is possible to train Bluebirds to use a seed feeder if it is kept close to their nesting boxes. The birds will use it in order to spend more of their time caring for young.
The easiest way to attract Bluebirds to a feeder is to use small fruits, like berries and mealworms.
Another way to attract Bluebirds
All birds need fresh water, for drinking and bathing. A birdbath can be a welcome addition for birds and people alike, adding beauty and a source of water for the birds. Just make sure to clean your bird bath regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Attracting Bluebirds to your yard is good for the environment, the Bluebird population and the enjoyment of your garden.