Eastern Bluebirds Nesting Information
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and facts about Eastern Bluebirds and nesting habits:
Q: Can I have more than one Bluebird nesting box in my yard? A: We have found that Bluebirds will nest as close as 60 feet to another…So YES! You can have more than one Bluebird box in your yard! Competition for homes is fierce, so you may even have a Titmouse, Wren, or a Chickadee in your box.
Q: Do bluebirds have special nesting requirements? A: Bluebirds require a cavity, or hole, within which to nest. They are referred to as secondary cavity nesters. Woodpeckers are primary cavity nesters, and in natural habitats bluebirds will search out old woodpecker cavities to construct their nests. Woodpecker cavities can be replicated by a bird house or nest box. Bluebirds do not distinguish between the 'real thing' and the 'fake'. They will readily adapt a nest box as their home.
Q: Where should I mount the box? A: The nestbox should be mounted so the entrance hole faces away from prevailing winds (south or east) to reduce the amount of rain that might be blown into the box. A nearby tree will provide young bluebirds with a place to fly to when they first leave the nest and shelter from the elements and predators. The babies will fly directly from the nestbox into shelter, not going to the ground at all. The fact that they can fly for a distance right out of the box is amazing!
Q: How should I mount the nest box? A: We recommend mounting the box using our Mounting Hardware setup and using a raccoon/squirrel/ snake baffle to deter predators. Q: Should the bluebird nest be removed after each fledging? A: Yes. Remove the nest after each set of babies. The parent Bluebirds will build a new nest for east brood.
Q: Can I monitor my Bluebird box? A: Bluebirds are tolerant of humans, and will not abandon a nestbox that is monitored. Monitoring is such a fun experience and you can find incredible joy by watching “your” Bluebird babies!! You can get satisfaction from knowing how many birds successfully fledged from the boxes you are maintaining.
Here is a factsheet dedicated to monitoring Bluebird boxes: http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/PDF/NABSFactsheetMonitoring.pdf
Bluebirds will take 3-5 days to build their nest. The female will lay 3-6 eggs (1 per day). The incubation period is 13-17 days after the last egg is laid. The nesting period (after the babies hatch) is 14-18 days. We recommend stop checking on the chicks after 12 days to prevent early fledging. Bluebirds can nest 2-3 times per season!
NestWatch is your chance to become a citizen scientist! NestWatch is a nationwide monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive. The database is used to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. All you have to do is take an online quiz to become certified and enter your nest data! Here is more information: https://nestwatch.org/about/overview/
If it’s time to upgrade houses or get a new set up all together, we have a great deal for you!! March 5th-21st, you will save 20% off Nest Boxes! Look for a dried mealworm special to come at the end of March…We are so excited for you to experience the delight that comes along with nesting season!