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BLUEBIRD TIPS

Habitat for Bluebirds and other cavity nesting birds has been lost over the last few decades due to urban sprawl, industrial development, highway and road construction, and many other factors. Also affecting the population of Bluebirds has been the introduction of House Sparrows and European Starlings. Both of these species compete for nesting habitat that the Bluebirds use, and are very aggressive toward Bluebirds, who are very passive. Sparrows will actually trap Bluebirds in their nest box and kill them. If you have a problem with House Sparrows try using a Sparrow trap or contact the North American Bluebird Society for help with this problem.

During the spring and summer, Bluebirds mainly feed on live insects. Supplying them an alternative of live mealworms will help sustain them during the year, especially when they are feeding their new hatchlings. It is a fact that baby Bluebirds have a high survival rate with a steady diet of live mealworms. Mealworms can be fed from any feeder, but a specially made mealworm or Bluebird feeder is advised, both of which can be obtained on our web site. You may want to especially use a specialty mealworm feeder or Bluebird feeder to keep other and bigger species of wild birds from eating all your mealworms before the Bluebirds get a chance to eat them. Just about all species of wild birds will eat mealworms.

Every year more and more people are calling us and ordering mealworms to feed their Bluebirds all year long. Bluebirds can and will stick around in cold weather areas during the winter if they have a good food source of wild berries supplemented by live mealworms. Mealworms can be fed all year long. In the very cold months it is suggested to feed your live mealworms to Bluebirds at the same time every day. This way they will get used to feeding time and will get to the mealworms before they freeze. Even if they freeze the Bluebirds will still eat them and they will still have their nutritional value. It is after they have thawed and turned black that they will not be eaten.

The best way to attract Bluebirds is to start a Bluebird trail, or put a nest box or two in your yard. Open fields with some trees and tall grass is the best habitat. Places for the Bluebirds to perch so they can look for natural food such as fence lines, utility wires, and tree branches are essential. It is these areas that it is best to place your nesting boxes. If Bluebirds are not comfortable with their surroundings they will not use your boxes. Other places that are suitable for a Bluebird trail is around golf courses, neighborhood parks, and cemeteries. Stay away from heavily forested areas.

We sell quality Bluebird nest boxes on our website. All quality Bluebird nest boxes should be well ventilated, watertight, have drainage holes, and one of the side or front should open so that you can clean and observe your nest box. Never use pressure treated lumber, always something like cedar or redwood. Plywood can be used but is not suggested. Bluebird nest boxes can be painted or stained, only with light colors though. Never use a perch on your Bluebird nest box; this will only attract other species of birds, especially the dreaded House Sparrow. Entrance holes for Eastern Bluebirds should be 1 ", Mountain Bluebirds 1 9/16, and Western Bluebirds 1 . The hole should be an oval shape 1 3/8 x 2 for the Eastern Bluebird.

Mounting your Bluebird nest box on some type of smooth round pipe is the easiest way. Electrical conduit pipes either " or a 1" is recommended. Some people like to coat the pipe with grease to keep off predators. Bluebird nest boxes can be placed on fence lines and/or trees, but if you have raccoons it is not recommended.

It is best to place your mealworm or Bluebird feeder in the general area or your nest box or boxes, but not very close or directly in front of them. Other species of birds constantly present on a feeder to close to a Bluebird nest box may make the Bluebird uncomfortable and it may leave to find a new home. Try to feed your Bluebirds live mealworms at the same time each day. Some people whistle every day when they feed their Bluebirds and they are waiting for them at the feeder when they get there. If you ever have any questions concerning Bluebirds please do not hesitate to contact Nature's Way or try one of the links provided on our site. Happy Bluebirding!

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