The Eastern Bluebird Nesting Preferences

The eastern bluebirds are migratory passerines that travel southward during the winter and when food becomes scarce. Migration is temporary, though, since these birds normally go back to their homes in the north when weather conditions become favorable.

These songbirds thrive in many areas of North America, notably in Canada’s Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia as well as in the southern part of the U.S. and Central America. In Ontario, Canada, the eastern bluebirds breed all over the province except in the Hudson Bay lowlands. They abound in different habitats there such as apple orchards, boreal forest and areas with short vegetation especially those with appropriate nesting cavities for them. In northern Ontario, bluebirds are aplenty in timber clear cut areas and forest fire burn areas where they nest in trunk and branch stubs.

In Central America, the eastern bluebirds can be found mostly in Bermuda and sometimes in Nicaragua. However, since the 1940s, the population of the Bermuda bluebirds has been decreasing due to loss of habitats, nest predation as a result of the introduction of other birds and the destruction of forests brought by Hurricane Emily in 1987.

These birds, that are the relative of robins, defend their territories aggressively against predators. Their territories are vital to them because it serves various purposes from breeding and nesting to feeding. They choose nesting sites that are more than 100 meters away from the others.

Similar to other bluebirds, the eastern kind is often seen in open fields with scattered trees, orchards or in clearings near a body of water. Trees are vital to the eastern bluebirds as they are great roosting and resting places for them.

Apart from their nests, the bluebirds also love perches where they get together with other birds or sing to their heart’s desire. A favorite perch is said to be an overhead wire along a highway. The fence post and pastures are other places for them to hangout.

The nests of eastern bluebirds are as big as cups and are generally made from dried grass, pine needles and plant stems. They prefer to put up their nests at a height of between two to 60 feet above the ground. Just like the western and mountain bluebirds, they are also cavity nesters that build nests in holes of trees and rotted tree stumps. A male and female bluebird forms the nest that may take between two days to two weeks to finish. The nest normally holds an average of about three to six pale blue eggs. The eggs may not always be blue because they are sometimes white or gray. It’s the female bird that incubates the eggs after laying them which takes about two weeks.

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