Bluebird Cam Update 6/26/2017
The bluebirds have started their second nesting period of the season. The nest was started on 6/20 and the first egg was laid on 6/24. She will lay an egg a day until the full clutch is laid. Once this is done she will start incubating the eggs. The incubation period is 11-19 days and all chicks will hatch on the same day. The chicks will fledge 17-21 days after hatching.
 
 
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House Wren Nest
 

 

Eastern bluebird nesting information

After a male Eastern Bluebird has attracted a female to his nest site (by carrying material in and out of the hole, perching, and fluttering his wings), the female does all the nest building. She makes the nest by loosely weaving together grasses and pine needles, then lining it with fine grasses and occasionally horse hair or turkey feathers. Nest boxes in some places are so common that a single territory may contain several suitable holes. Females often build nests in each available hole, but typically only use one of these. Bluebirds may use the same nest for multiple broods.


Eastern bluebird food

Insects caught on the ground are a bluebird’s main food for much of the year. Major prey include caterpillars, beetles crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders. In fall and winter, bluebirds eat large amounts of fruit including mistletoe, sumac, blueberries, black cherry, tupelo, currants, wild holly, dogwood berries, hackberries, honeysuckle, bay, pokeweed, and juniper berries. Rarely, Eastern Bluebirds have been recorded eating salamanders, shrews, snakes, lizards, and tree frogs


Eastern bluebird behavior

This small, brightly colored thrush typically perches on wires and fence posts overlooking open fields. The birds forage by fluttering to the ground to grab an insect, or occasionally by catching an insect in midair. Bluebirds can sight their tiny prey items from 60 feet or more away. They fly fairly low to the ground, and with a fast but irregular pattern to their wingbeats. Males vying over territories chase each other at high speed, sometimes grappling with their feet, pulling at feathers with their beaks, and hitting with their wings. The boxes and tree cavities where bluebirds nest are a hot commodity among birds that require holes for nesting, and male bluebirds will attack other species they deem a threat, including House Sparrows, European Starlings, Tree Swallows, Great Crested Flycatchers, Carolina Chickadees, and Brown-headed Nuthatches, as well as non-cavity nesters such as robins, Blue Jays, mockingbirds, and cowbirds. Males attract females to the nest with a display in which he carries bits of nesting material into and out of the nest. Once a female enters the nest hole with him, the pair bond is typically established and often remains intact for several seasons (although studies suggest that around one in every four or five eggs involves a parent from outside the pair).


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Eastern Bluebird Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:          2–7 eggs
Number of Broods: 1-3 broods
Egg Length:          0.7–0.9 in
                         1.8–2.4 cm
Egg Width:           0.6–0.7 in
                         1.5–1.9 cm
Incubation Period: 11–19 days
Nestling Period:    17–21 days
Egg Description:   Pale blue or, rarely, white.
Condition at Hatching: Naked except for sparse tufts of dingy gray down, eyes closed, clumsy.


Bluebird Nest Box Plans


               
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Building bluebird nest boxes is a great way to help conserve birds at the local level. Nest boxes help maintain bluebird populations that have declined by as much as 90%.

Nest box placement

Make sure that your boxes are installed well before the breeding season begins. Don’t be discouraged if birds don’t begin nesting in them immediately; sometimes it takes time for the birds to discover them.

Place the nest box in open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing direction. Place the box 3' to 6' high with a multiple box spacing of at least 300'.

 



 

   
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