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Start a Bluebird Trail

The Watch Tower protects bluebirds with a wide entrance, proven to deter invasive cavity nesters.

“Nesting boxes are everywhere. Really, there are too many. But they are for bluebirds, and there can never be too many bluebirds.” — Shirl Brunell, I Hear Bluebirds

CONCORD, N.H. — One person can make a world of difference when caring for local bluebirds on a bluebird trail. What we call a bluebird trail is a collection of between 5 to 6 or more bluebird houses located within relative distance from each other. Depending on which bluebird species you want to attract, these houses may be placed 100 to 300 yards apart, so nesting bluebirds can safely guard their territory while encouraging the survival of all nesting bluebirds. There are three species of bluebirds living in the United States, ranging from the Western Bluebird to the Mountain Bluebird and the Eastern Bluebird.

According to Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources’ article called “How to Make and Enjoy Your Own Blue Bird Trail” by Mr. Richard Wells, “The eastern bluebird population may have plummeted as much as 90% due to shortage of natural cavities for nesting, competition from house sparrows and starlings, and pesticides. What is needed is a widespread effort to help the bluebirds in its struggles and an easy way to help is to provide nesting sites. Bluebird trails are becoming increasingly popular and are a source of great pleasure and satisfaction to those who operate them.”

“Where you choose to place the box is as important as how the box is designed. Bluebirds are birds of open areas. They rarely nest in wooded areas, but will nest in clearings. Open areas with scattered trees are best. Open fields are suitable if there are posts or wires for perching. Look for any area where the vegetation is kept short by mowing, or grazing such as parks, campgrounds, pastures, large lawns, cemeteries, golf courses and abandoned orchards. Proper placement of your nesting box (boxes) can encourage bluebirds and discourage other competing birds and predators. The boxes should be mounted 4 to 5 feet from the ground. It is recommended that they be placed 100 yards apart because bluebirds establish a territory during the nesting season and a nesting pair will not allow other bluebirds to enter their territory,” added Mr. Richard Wells.

This may be of note, the longer you maintain your bluebird trail and protect your nesting bluebirds from predators, the more bluebirds you can expect to see in the following years. While you may luck out and see bluebirds during your first season, Dr. Richard Wells points out, “it may take about six years to build up a substantial population of bluebirds. I can guarantee it is worth the wait.”

Sialis.org offers this gentle reminder, “It’s never too late to put up a nestbox, as they may be used for a subsequent nesting, for roosting, and are also often checked out in the fall by birds that may return the following spring.”

About Duncraft

In 1952, Duncraft, based in Concord, NH, became a leader in the backyard bird feeding industry with their original Flight Deck Windowsill Feeding Station, an innovative design at the time, bringing birds close-up while enjoying bird seed, peanut butter and water right outside your window. Today, Duncraft manufactures more than 600 original bird feeders and houses, designed for intermediate to advanced bird lovers. A national provider of backyard bird feeding supplies, Duncraft connects you with the products you need to succeed in your bird feeding adventures with products for beginner to expert bird enthusiasts. Browse 53 expertly crafted bluebird houses at http://www.duncraft.com.

SOURCE Duncraft | Wild Bird Superstore

 

SOURCES AND INTERESTING READING:

“Bluebirding Basics,” Sialis, May 2, 2016. March 24, 2016. <http://www.sialis.org/basics.htm>.

“How to Make and Enjoy Your Own Blue Bird Trail,” Wells, Richard. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, 2016. Mar. 28, 2016. <http://www2.dnr.cornell.edu/ext/info/pubs/Wildlife/blue_bird_trail_wells.htm>.

“How to Start a Bluebird Trail: Ten Steps to a Bluebird Trail.” Sialis, Mar. 24, 2016. Mar. 28, 2016. <http://www.sialis.org/startingatrail.htm>.



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