Why Are There So Many Bluebirds at My Feeder, Even Though I’ve Never Seen Them Before in Winter? Learn How to Help Your Non-migrating Bluebirds in Freezing Temperatures with Tips from Our Bird Feeding Enthusiast and Retail Store Associate Nancy Schofield
We’re only days into the new year and many customers in our retail store are reporting bluebirds at their feeders. This is nothing new, except our customers are used to seeing bluebirds during the warm days of spring and summer, instead of the middle of winter. Even customers who have been feeding the birds for 10 years or more are seeing bluebirds at their feeders for the first time. And they’re seeing—not only one, but four, six and eight bluebirds at a time this winter.
Our retail associate Nancy has been fielding a lot of questions about bluebirds and what people can do to help them right now. Nancy suggests providing food and shelter. “A roosting house, like our Duncraft Convertible Roost House—which turns into a nesting box in the spring, and nuggets.” Nancy pointed out that with the freezing temperatures we’ve been having, “Bluebirds need the fat from the nuggets at this time of year. If you’re already serving mealworms, add a few nuggets. If you have a platform feeder, add nuggets to your seed.”
“Although any of the Nuggets would work,” Nancy said, “the Bluebird Nuggets are great because they’re specifically for bluebirds.” The Bluebird Nuggets have been the most popular—she added, “We keep selling out of them in the store!”
“It surprises people to see a bluebird in January, but it’s really quite common as long as there is food,” said Robyn Bailey, project leader for NestWatch, a Cornell Lab of Ornithology citizen-science program that tracks the nationwide status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds. “If there’s no food, they can migrate south in search of food, but if there is food they will stay. I have seen them in winter here in upstate New York where I live, and I have seen them in Michigan in piles of snow. They are fine with that as long as the food base is there.”
As for the bluebirds in your area, Nancy suggests feeding mealworms or nuggets, or both. Feed them in our Classic Bluebird Feeder (#4295) or the hanging Snack ‘N Treats Tube Feeder (#38281). Both feeders are enclosed with easy access for bluebirds, while the Classic keeps out larger birds. Shop bluebird feeders, roosting houses and more at duncraft.com.
As a bird feeding enthusiast, do you like the featured bluebird photo on the top of this page? Shop the original bluebird print at photographer John C. Gill’s website www.JohnGillPhoto.com. John C. Gill is a talented photographer we’ve been working with for years now and we’re happy to share his work with our followers. Happy Birding!
Written by Dawn Coutu
SOURCES AND INTERESTING LINKS:
“How you can help bluebirds bounce back,” Oder, Tom. Mother Nature Network. 23 Mar. 2017. 8 Jan. 2018. <https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/how-you-can-help-bluebirds-bounce-back>.
Read more about John C. Gill and his trip to North Carolina on the Duncraft Wild Bird Blog.