Bluebirds are cavity nesters, preferring bird boxes in open areas such as meadows to nest. Increasing development of rural areas is giving bluebirds fewer places to nest, affecting their population. Providing a bluebird box not only offers these feathery friends a safe place to nest but also offers you an opportunity to observe and enjoy their beauty. The best time to install is mid-winter because they return from the south early in the season, and prefer "weathered" houses to those that are brand new. A more natural bird house is likely to attract more birds.
Things You'll Need
- 6 to 8 foot long wooden fence post
- Quick mix concrete
- Bluebird house
- Long screws or nails
To Install a Birdhouse:
Bluebirds like wide open spaces at least 100 feet away from bushy or wooded areas, in both suburban and rural locations. In a meadow, field or mowed lawn, dig a hole that is one foot deep and one foot wide.
Mix concrete in your wheelbarrow according to the package instructions. Insert the pole and pour the mixed concrete around it. Allow the concrete to set overnight until it is completely dry.
Attach the bluebird house to the fencepost using long screws or nails, ensuring the home is securely connected. Bluebird houses should be no more than eight feet above the ground, and no lower than five feet above the ground. The entrance to the house should face north to northeast to avoid the sun and rain, creating the perfect home for these beautiful birds.
Tips & Warnings
- It is important to build or buy a birdhouse that is specifically made for bluebirds in order to ensure that more aggressive birds and predators stay away. The entrance should be exactly 1 1/2" in diameter--if it is smaller, bluebirds won't fit, but if it's larger, more aggressive birds like starlings will take over. For a safe nesting place for baby chicks, rough up the interior of the box so they can climb out. To keep your bluebird friends coming back year after year, it's a good idea to check on your houses weekly to be sure other birds have not taken over. If aggressive birds have nested in your bird house, simply remove their nests. Eventually they will learn this is not a safe place to nest and will go elsewhere allowing bluebirds to build their homes safely.
- Human interaction will not cause bluebirds to abandon their nests, so no harm is done while checking on them. However, do not monitor nest boxes once chicks are 12 days or older. Nestlings may leave the nest too early. If you are in doubt, just wait until you are sure all chicks have left the nest before checking on it.
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