The Bluebird Chronicles

Bluebird babies nestled together!

I recently posted an article on this blog about How to Attract and enjoy Bluebirds in your yard. I talked about how to put up nest boxes, about what foods to provide and also to have water available for these beautiful birds. How delighted I was when Jen, one of our readers, commented that she had never seen a bluebird in her yard, but she put up a nesting box and was thrilled to have a pair using the box only three days later!

I wasn’t just happy for our reader; I was also inspired by her.  Because, although I know a lot about how to attract and keep various birds in your yard and make a living writing about it, I have to admit—I’ve never seen bluebirds in my yard either. Then again, I’ve never tried to attract them.

Well, maybe it’s time I practice what I preach. I purchased a proper bluebird house, a pole to put it up on and a canister style baffle that fits on the pole to keep predators away.  The bluebird house I chose is made of recycled plastic and should last a lifetime.  The pole is made especially for rear-mounted bird houses and the baffle is the type recommended by Duncraft and also organizations such as the National Bluebird Society to keep snakes and squirrels from climbing the pole and getting to the nest.  I was determined to do this right.

Next I had to decide where I was going to put the nesting box. According to my own article, bluebirds mainly eat insects on the ground and prefer open spaces where they can easily spot their prey.  I certainly have wide open spaces which include my big backyard and also a large, open, adjoining field.  Bluebirds also prefer a location that backs up against woodland and faces out into the open area.  I had that too.  Here are views of my “bluebird paradise”—at least I hope the bluebirds will think that! I’m going to nestle the house on the right, at the bottom of the hill.

The house I bought already had holes drilled in the back which matched the holes on the pole.  However, I thought the screws that were included were too long.  I didn’t want them protruding into the house.  So, I substituted two smaller wood screws instead.  That was the only hitch in getting the house assembled.  Otherwise, everything went together really smoothly and was easy to do.

Here’s the house all set up and my view of it from my back porch (right in the center of the second picture).  I can actually see it much better than it appears here. Now my only concern is that it’s not going to get morning sun, since it’s facing north.  This could be a big mistake, but I asked my friend Mindy who helps with the blog and who has tons of birds.  She said she has nesting birds and they don’t  really seem to care which direction the house faces.  We’ll see!

I guess now all I have to do is wait and hope some beautiful bluebird pair discovers the nesting box and sets up housekeeping!  I have noticed chickadees clinging to the entry hole and looking inside.  And if I end up with a chickadee family instead of bluebirds, I’ll be perfectly happy.  But wouldn’t it be wonderful if I actually did attract bluebirds?  I’ll keep you posted!  Watch for the Bluebird Chronicles—Part II

–Roxanne Brune

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  • Marilyn March 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I was inspired by the busy pair of bluebirds in my wooden house to order a Duncraft Eco-friendly house plus the same pole as you have shown. I placed the house far enough away from the other bb house that there should have been no problem (that and the fact that throughout the fall and winter, I have had up to 6 bluebirds at my feeders at a time, so I know there are bluebirds looking for housing).. Since putting up the bb house, it has been taken over by black-capped chicadees who are determined to build in that bluebird house. It is not as if I haven’t put up other small bird houses for dees and wrens but these two are bound and determined to nest there.. any ideas?

  • R. Brune March 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Hi Marilyn,

    I figure whatever wants to nest in my bluebird house (excepting house sparrows and starlings) is welcome to. Also, nesting bluebirds claim territories of 2 – 3 acres and won’t nest closer together than 100 yards from the next box, so if your second box isn’t that far from the first one, that might be your problem and the reason the other bluebirds aren’t investigating the new house. Just a thought…

  • Beca - Who Loves Gardens March 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Your property looks so much like ours! We have a few to many bluebirds hanging around depending on the time of year, but I am going to try one of these bluebird houses and see if I can convince a few to make our home their home. Thanks for the info!

  • R. Brune April 7, 2010 at 8:03 am

    That’s so nice to hear. We’ll keep trying to bring you new and interesting articles! Thank you!

  • Out walking the dog April 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Well, if I were a bluebird, I’d choose your lovely new box with the great view. Good luck.