Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bluebirds and Bluebird Houses

The empty bluebird house 
I have always enjoyed watching birds.  Even though I don't consider myself a "bird watcher" really (because I can't accurately name many different bird species). Recently, I am very excited about birds I am watching. Bluebirds! A pair has moved into my bluebird box up at The Shack and I'm thrilled.

I don't recall ever having seen a bluebird in the wild as a child - strange since I can clearly recall Cedar Waxwings during a camping trip. So I was somewhat a bird watcher at an early age but I don't believe I had ever seen a bluebird. Even so, I knew that I liked them. I referred to them as the "bluebird of happiness".  I even made a bluebird ceramic refrigerator magnet. 

But that was the extent of my experience with bluebirds.

Then a handful of years ago, I was visiting some friends. The husband was complaining of the very little, but very loud, bird that was constantly perching on their flagpole and covering the flagpole in droppings. That was my first bluebird sighting. 

I secretly admired their wooden nest box and bought my own as soon as I bought my land.
My bluebird house close-up

In April 2016, I attached a bluebird nest box to a tree at The Shack. I was completely clueless. And only by accident did I place it East-facing. Then I watched. And waited.

And waited some more.

I waited until November 2017. I had all but given up hope that bluebirds would move in to my nest box. Then in November, in the cold, I noticed a pair moving in and out of the box. I spied on them with binoculars and was so happy. I was also very confused. What in the heck were bluebirds doing on a cold West Virginia ridge, in November?  Didn't they migrate?

No. They don't. Not in that area. They are year 'round residents. Woohoo!

Since then, I have been reading about bluebirds. And I'll share some of that information later. But for now I'll focus on the nest boxes.

I have since decided that I'm going to buy another nest box or two. I like my wooden nest box. It is the correct size and it has the predator guard around the opening. It also is meant to have a hinged side, so that I can open it and clean it out. However, the one time I attempted to open it and check it, the wood had expanded and I could not open it. It also does not have ventilation holes.

Good bluebird nest boxes consist of:

  • 4" to 6" square bottoms
  • 1.4" to 1.75" diameter openings
  • predator guards at the opening
  • ventilation holes
  • raised wire mesh floor
  • access - to clean old nests out

I have since discovered Duncraft and their bird feeders and supplies - including bluebird nest boxes. And have a few of their boxes on my wishlist.  


Duncraft Eco-Friendly Bluebird House

Perhaps you'd rather shop Amazon. There is a huge selection of bluebird nest boxes on Amazon to choose from. And some of the choices are less expensive. Just remember the dimensions listed above as you shop.

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you. I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you.


9 comments:

  1. I've often considered getting nesting boxes on my property. So far I haven't identified the birds I would expect to use them. I'd have to study up. I think I'd go for owls, but I haven't studied enough yet to know what's best. It seems you are getting a lot of joy from having the bluebirds nest in your box.

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    1. I am very pleased to have bluebirds as neighbors. I have to study up on owls. I heard one up there, but had no idea how to identify it.

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  2. Love the bluebird, Dawn Rae. I don't have a yard to enjoy nesting birds now that I live in an apartment, but have had fun watching the birds in my brother's backyard. I also have crafted bluebirds in crochet and needlework -- one way to enjoy them. :)

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    1. I am glad you are able to watch birds somewhere. And I love your little roly poly crocheted bluebirds. They are adorable.

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  3. We get a bluebird every spring and summer. It's always in the trees behind our deck and sometimes it's on our deck. I never thought of getting a nesting box. Thanks Dawn :)

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    1. Sam, that is so cool that you already get bluebirds without putting up the nesting boxes. That's exciting.

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  4. I love our bluebird house and the little pretty bluebirds that come back every year!

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    1. I am just learning that many times they come back year after year. How cool that you already knew that...and that you have regular guests!

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  5. Well I don't have bluebirds in my garden, but I do love sitting on the deck and enjoying all of the different varieties we do get. Unfortunately we have new neighbors who have cleared most of the trees from their property so I'm not sure how that's going to effect our birds as the do work their way around a few different trees between our properties.

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