All about Bluebirds

Bluebirds chowing down on meal worms. Photo by John Martin, used with permission.

Better late than never, here’s a summary of what we learned at the November Chapter meeting. We’re really grateful to Donna Lewis for stepping up to the plate and delivering an informative talk based on information from the Texas Bluebird Society. Here’s a bit of what she shared:

Donna points out a bluebird fact as we all listen.

Right now, people in our area are seeing bluebirds, mostly in the rural areas. The ones we see are Eastern bluebirds, though the Mountain bluebird and Western bluebird are also seen in parts of Texas. Note that the three species do crossbreed and that there are eight sub-species of the Eastern bluebirds.

They are in the thrush family, like robins, and usually live around two years, though they can live up to 6-8 years. They usually have blue eggs, with the occasional clutch of white eggs. They can nest from 2-4 times per year, depending on the conditions.

Bluebirds eat bugs, worms, butterflies, and berries of all kinds (especially native ones!). To entice them to our back yards, we need to provide them with this type of food (meal worms, yum), as well as shelter and shallow water containers.

Nesting

Bluebird box ready to install.

Many people provide nests for bluebirds alongside of wooded areas. Commercial ones are fine, though you can do a lot of modifications to discourage house sparrows, titmice, chickadees, and other intruders from using the houses. You can also paint then white to reflect heat!

If we build nests as a project, we can talk about modifications like netting and other deterrents to raccoons and snakes.


Bonus: We got a recommendation of Moore Wild Birds as a place to get all kinds of bird-lover supplies. It’s a beautiful store in College Station:

750 William D. Fitch Pkwy. #120
College Station, TX 77845

It might be fun to check out!

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