The Eastern Bluebird Feeding Preferences
Bluebirds are primarily insect eaters. They tend to choose sites in their range where they can get lots of food, find a good place to nest and breed. They are also extremely territorial and show aggressive behavior when predators are near.
The eastern bluebird eats a variety of insects like crickets, flies, katydids, beetles, worms, snails, spiders, mealworms and other invertebrates. In fact, 80 percent of their diet consists of insects during spring and summer.
Their feeding behavior is quite similar to the western bluebird. They love to perch on tree branches and overhead wires while observing their insect preys. From there, an eastern bluebird will swoop down and catch a flying insect or go down to the ground and pounce on a grasshopper, cricket or other insects around. This love for insects is evident during the summer while in winter, they normally feed on fruits.
The eastern bluebirds also love fruits. During the cold winter months, they prefer berries from trees, bushes, shrubs, vines and other plants. They also eat nuts, sunflower seeds and suet.
Parent eastern bluebirds provide food to their offspring. The male brings food to the female during the incubation period and to their young after they come out of the eggs. Did you know that the parents feed their young at least once every 15 minutes? That’s how responsible they are. Even after their young have learned to fly on their own, they will continue to care for them for a several more days before they start their second brood. Meanwhile, at age 15 to 20 days when the young are ready to fledge, the parents stop feeding them. If, for instance, a fledgling remains in the nest, a parent will drive the young away.
Bluebirds, however, are not attracted to hanging feeders. If you want to give them a treat in your backyard, place dried fruit, chopped peanut kernels or mealworms on a flat type of feeder notably those that have trays. You can get mealworms which are brown larvae about an inch long with crusty shells from bird stores or pet supply shops. They are very affordable and can last long by keeping them refrigerated.
Bird baths are also important for bluebirds. Eastern bluebirds are attracted to sources of water that are moving and produce a splashing sound.