Eastern Bluebird

Written by on July 18, 2012 in Bird Conservation, Common Backyard Birds with 1 Comment

Breeding pair of Eastern Bluebirds

The Eastern Bluebird is so named because it is found east of the Rockie Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. This is a small thrush song bird that likes to nest in protected cavities of trees. They commonly like old woodpecker cavities. Seems to be just the right size for them. During the spring and early summer months, the male Eastern Bluebird’s vibrant blue feathers across his back certainly tell us why they are commonly called bluebirds.

These are charming social birds who do us humans a great favor. They eat lots of insects including grasshoppers, beetles and crickets. But, they also eat earthworms, sow bugs, spiders, centipedes and snails. Eastern Bluebirds will also supplement their diet with berries and fruits.

One of the delights of these birds is to see them perched on a telephone wire or other high place. Then spotting an insect, they swoop down to the ground and nap a snack. Think of the tremendous eyesight they must have to be able to see that tiny insect from such a distance.

Out the kitchen window, I can spy a pair of Eastern Bluebirds working on their nest in the spring. They have taken over and used a bird house that has hung from the side of my garage for years. When their brood has hatched, we enjoy watching the almost never-ending process of feeding these chicks. Both parents work hard at this. They arrive on the branch of a nearby tree and await their turn to deliver a wiggling grasshopper to one of the 4 to 5 young. Then off they go, looking for more goodies to bring back.

Currently, Eastern Bluebirds are not endangered. But, that is only because of people who have placed appropriately-sized bird houses for them. The loss of so many old trees due to urban spread caused a bad decline in their numbers during the 1960’s. It was caring people who helped return them to good numbers. So, do your part to help these charming and beautiful birds. Add a new birdhouse with an entrance hole of one and half inches. You will be delighted with the activities of the Eastern Bluebird pair that will soon make it home.

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  1. Mandee Sears says:

    We placed bluebird boxes all over our golf course one year. A kindly man that loved those birds checked on them a couple of times a week. He made a spreadsheet logging their nests and number of babies. It was so much fun to see how many new birds were brought into the world! They really are a hoot to watch!

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