Interesting Eastern Bluebird Facts

1. The eastern bluebird is among the three bluebirds that belong to the thrush family. The other two are the mountain bluebird and western bluebird.

2. The eastern bluebird is also known as the American bluebird, Wilson’s bluebird and Common bluebird.

3. The bluebird is the official bird of the states of Missouri and New York in the U.S.

4. It measures between 5.5 to 7 inches and lives for up to a maximum of six years.

5. The male eastern bluebird has bright blue upper body, red orange throat, chest and sides, white stomach and undertail coverts. The female can be identified by its blue wings, gray crown and back, brown throat, chest and sides and white eye ring.

6. These songbirds are very social creatures. They are fond of gathering in flocks of more than 100.

7. Like the other bluebirds, the eastern bluebird prefers to nest in open fields, meadows, gardens, hedges and parks where trees are scattered and grasses are short.

8. The number of eastern bluebirds has dropped to a low of 17 percent in recent years from their previous populations in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The decline was due to severe winter weather, harmful effects of pesticides used in controlling fire ants and competition with other cavity nesters.

9. In North America, the populations of eastern bluebirds have rebounded through the extensive installation of nest boxes in rural areas.

10. In Canada, the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society was organized in 1988 to increase the number of managed nest boxes in Ontario, provide guidance to new trail operators and monitor population trends every year.

11. The North American Bluebird Society was also formed in 1978 to encourage individuals and groups to put up nest boxes for bluebirds.

12. The eastern bluebird was declared a rare species because of its low population resulting from severe winters that occurred from 1976 to 1978. It was delisted in 1996.

13. The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas has monitored from 1968 to 2000 that the population of eastern bluebirds showed a yearly increase of 6.5 percent.

14. The eastern bluebird breeds throughout the province of Ontario except in the lowlands of Hudson Bay.

15. These small birds have many competitors that include the house sparrows, starlings, wrens, chickadees, swallows. The chickadees, swallows and martins are not harmful and tree swallows are even believed to protect the bluebirds from predators when they are nesting nearby. House sparrows and starlings, however, are known to harm and kill eastern bluebirds hence; they should be removed from nest boxes.

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