About The Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis, commonly known as the Eastern bluebird, is also known as the blue robin or the blue redbreast characterizing the bird’s appearance of a bright royal blue back and a rusty-colored breast. The bird’s color differs with gender and age. Females appear paler than the males, and juveniles can be distinguished by gray crown and back with spotted underparts. These birds are often recognized by their distinctive “chun-wi” call that is used to locate the singer, often perched on a fencepost or powerline. The size of an adult bluebird is about 6.5 to 7.5 inches including the tail.
The Eastern Bluebird Nesting Preferences
Eastern bluebirds often nests in woodpecker-excavated cavities. The nests are built using grasses, weed stems, pine needles, twigs, and occasionally hair or feathers. The nest is built in an average of 10 to 11 days both by male and female. Pairs begin nesting by choosing a natural cavity or an abandoned woodpecker hole in a post or tree, or perhaps a man-made nesting box. Bluebirds nest March through August. Female birds lay about 3 to 7 eggs, occasionally white and unmarked with 0.8 inches in size. Eggs are incubated for 13 to 16 days. Normally, this bird species produces 2 broods per year.
Building a Birdhouse For The Eastern Bluebird
Backyard birds like Eastern bluebirds find birdhouses with a 4 inches x 4 inches floor suitable. Dimensions are preferably 12½” in height x 6” wide x 8½” in diameter. The entrance hole should be ½” in diameter placed just below or in front of the nest box. Nest boxes should be protected with an anti-predator device to ward off predators and competing animals. These boxes should be mounted at least 51” above the ground on smooth round poles, and are best placed near old field borders adjacent to short grasses, highway rights-of-way, orchards, golf courses and parks where bluebirds are normally seen.
The Eastern Bluebird Mating Habits
Eastern Bluebirds are monogamous. They form a pair and work together to rear their young. These birds usually breed in forest edges, burned or cutover woodland, open country with scattered trees. The male courts the female as it sings and flutters in front of the female with its wings half open, tail spread as it perches beside and preens its pair. As it courts, it may also offer food for the female.
The Eastern Bluebird Feeding Preferences
The bluebird is fond of eating insects, making it a most welcome visitor to gardens in summer. During winter, bluebirds eat fruits (especially berries) and seeds. Aside from insects and fruits, its diet also includes earthworms, snails and other invertebrates. Young birds are fed primarily with insects as the adults catch them from low perch near the ground. Males continue to feed the fledglings until the young become self-sufficient.
Interesting Eastern Bluebird Facts
The Eastern bluebird is very devoted to its family, as befits a symbol of happiness. These birds are best seen at an area where an old field comes together with an area of short grasses. They often roost singly or in small groups in nest boxes.