To see Links to our 2010 Bluebird Videos or ask a Question about Bluebirds: Click on Bluebirds – Scroll to end to ‘Leave a Comment’; place comment in box provided; Then push “add comment. You can also see our 2010 Documentary Videos of our Bluebirds and Songbirds Nests Eggs and Babies!
Have you ever seen a bluebird fly? I have and it is the most breathtaking sight; it’s the most brilliant bluest of blue color; it’s majestic; it’s magical! I hope one day you all will have the opportunity to see a Bluebird for when you do, I’m sure you’ll fall in LOVE just like me.
Bluebirds are very ACCESSIBLE for me to view while seated in my wheelchair for their nest is only 3-5 feet high. Bluebirds are delightfully friendly and even welcome our help.
The Eastern Bluebird is small with a big, rounded head, large eyes and plump body. Male Eastern Bluebirds are really beautiful! They are deep blue on head, back and tail; with reddish brown color on the throat and breast; their belly is white.
Females are grayish above with bluish wings and tail, which you can see better when they fly; they have a reddish brown color extending from chin over breast; and their undertail and belly is white. Bluebirds communicate with each other with sounds and gestures.
The first time I saw a bluebird was when I was visiting my parent’s home in Lakeville in the spring of 2000, almost a decade ago. I was living in a nursing home in Middleboro; mom and dad had just moved to Lakeville to be closer to me. When I was visiting one spring day, we heard the chirping sound of CherWee-CherWee-CherWee! We then saw a Bluebird sitting on a mailbox across the street; he was protecting his bluebird nest located in a newspaper box right under the mailbox on the street. We saw him fly! Instantly, my mom, dad and I fell in LOVE with BLUEBIRDS!
I then understood why Bluebirds inspired many to write poetry and songs about the beauty of the Bluebird. Henry David Thoreau, in the mid 1800’s wrote ‘the bluebird really does carry the sky on its back’. Robert Frost, poets and song writers have also written about the Bluebird. As well as this lyric from The Wizzard of OZ!
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why, not I
By Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg
Together, my mom and I did some research. Sadly, we discovered these beautiful Bluebirds were almost extinct; they were endangered because humans cut down too many trees; people began using wire and metal instead of wood to build fences and mail box posts, leaving fewer tree holes and holes carved by woodpeckers for Bluebirds to nest; and aggressive Starlings and House Sparrows, introduced from Europe took over many of the few nests. Bluebird population dropped by 90% because Bluebirds had few nesting cavities.
In 1978, the North American Bluebird Society started a ‘Bluebird Movement’; they encouraged all bluebird lovers to put up trails of bluebird houses in their communities and in their yards. Many bluebird lovers, like me and my mom did just this; it provided many bluebirds ACCESS to nesting boxes!
Because of the “Bluebird Movement’, Bluebirds have made a remarkable comeback! The link for North American Bluebird Society is http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/.
My mom learned all she could about these beautiful and delightful songbirds. I helped her put up our first nest on our mailbox post. Soon we had a Bluebird couple nesting in our box. We then put up more boxes and more Bluebirds came to nest. The Bluebirds especially liked the nest box my mom hung on the post of our back yard deck.
Some of the Bluebirds even stayed during the winter months in my mom and dad’s yard; they kept warm roosting in the boxes and ate berries from the bushes and the mealworms we left out for them on a feeder on the deck.
My mom shared her Bluebird stories and beautiful pictures with members of the Massachusetts Bluebird Society. I am proud to say that on September 20, 2005, The Massachusetts Bluebird Association awarded my mom “Bluebirder Of The Year Award” for recognition of outstanding achievement. If you are interested in becoming a member of Massachusetts Bluebird Association click on http://massbluebird.org/.
The Massachusetts Bluebird Association kindly donated Bluebird nest boxes to the nursing home I once lived in. THANKFULLY I moved out of the nursing home so I don’t know if they got bluebirds to nest there.
When I moved out of the nursing home to my home in September of 2007, the first thing mom did for me was to set up a Bluebird trail of Bluebird boxes in my backyard. She explained everything we needed to do and my friends and I were thrilled to help.
Bluebird Houses: Bluebird nesting boxes can be purchased at a local pet store which specializes in wild birds. My mom purchased my bluebird houses and poles at Wild Birds Unlimited in Easton . Bob, the owner is a very helpful and knowledgeable Bluebird lover. You can locate your nearest ‘Wild Bird Unlimited’ store by visiting their website at http://www.wbu.com/.
You can even build a Bluebird House yourself if you’re handy with your hands and wood. The North American Bluebird Society has bluebird nest box plans on their website at http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/eastwestbox.htm.
Specifications for Bluebird Houses: Bluebird nesting houses have certain specifications; the wood needs to be ¾ inch thick; the entrance hole must be 1 ½ inch in diameter; there must be no perch on the box; the floor dimension is 4×4 inches; the height is 5-7 inches; ventilation is needed; draining holes are needed; a roof over the opening is needed to protect them from rain; a side or part of roof needs to be able to open and close for proper monitoring. I can open/close either the side of roof of my Bluebird houses.
Baffle: If you have cats, raccoons or snakes in your area, you should put a baffle on the pole so these predators cannot get to your Bluebird house. You can make your own baffle using a stove pipe. For more information on designs, click on http://www.bluebirdnut.com/Housing.htm.
Bluebird Trail: Bluebird Houses should be placed out in the open (at least 100 feet from woods) and on a pole between 3 to 5 feet high. We placed my Bluebird nest boxes approximately 4 ½ feet high on the pole. I’m able to see the nest because I can raise the seat on my Permobil C350 Power Chair. You can place the Bluebird House lower, as long it is at least 3 feet high. Check to see what is the best height for you to monitor the nest boxes from your wheelchair.
Bluebird houses, ideally, should be placed 300 feet apart; another bluebird house can be placed within 15-25 feet for Tree Swallow to nest. If your backyard is too close to wood, you can put a house on your mailbox post in the front on the street. Bluebirds are not afraid of mailman!
Tree Swallows: Tree Swallows, another insect eating song bird also love open fields and love to nest in boxes. They have a greenish sheen and some iridescent greenish blue feathers; their under parts are white. They are not as friendly to people like Bluebirds; they dart at you like a jet plane. Tree Swallows compete with bluebirds for nest houses. If they both have a nest box, set within 5-25 feet from one another, they both will have a place to nest; then they will watch out and protect each other. We placed some extra boxes for Tree Swallows for they are in my yard.
Bluebird Predators: Beware of Bluebird predators such as the European Starling, House Sparrow and House Wren; these are aggressive birds that will kill Bluebirds and destroy their eggs and nest. Do not allow any of these aggressive and mean birds to nest in your Bluebird nest boxes. European Starling and House Sparrow nests can be destroyed or moved for they are not protected by federal law.
Eagles and Hawks can also be predators of Bluebirds but there is nothing we can do to protect Bluebirds from these larger, beautiful birds for it is nature’s calling. Just yesterday, while sitting on my deck, I saw a Hawk teaching a young baby Hawk how to fly. It was a delightful sight to see; I did say a prayer they hawk would stay away from my Bluebirds.
Bluebirds Feed: Bluebirds feed on insects, berries, suet mixtures; sunflower chips; peanut butter with raisons is a favorite and mealworms are their very, very favorite! You can purchase dry or live mealworms from your nearest ‘Wild Bird Unlimited’. My mom keeps her Bluebird feed about 20-50 feet from her nesting boxes. I do the same.
I even have a mealworm feeder hanging on a pole on my deck so I can watch the Bluebirds feed up close. Mom and dad Bluebirds come to this feeder often, even when I’m outside sitting on my deck. My mom has the same feeder on her deck. Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity to see a daddy Bluebird teach his babies how to eat the mealworms from her feeder.
Bluebird Nest: Bluebirds build a neat and well organized nest using twigs, pine needles and grasses; the center has a neat cup shape which they mold by sitting. Once a nest is built, it won’t take too long for blue bluebird eggs to appear. Nest building takes between 1-6 days; egg laying takes between 5-7 days; incubation takes between 12-14 days; brooding about 6 days; and fledging (young to fly) takes 16-21 days.
Bluebird Babies: Baby bluebirds are a delight to watch as they grow. I’ve had the delight of seeing Bluebird babies the day they were born in one of my mom’s Bluebird houses last summer. Baby Bluebirds start out with bright coral pink skin and eyes are closed; in a few days, bluish feathers appear and on day 7 their eyes will open a slit.
On day 13 it is very important to stop monitoring and opening the nest box for they are active and may prematurely fall out. Bluebirds will begin to fly when they are 14 to 22 days old. Baby Bluebirds remain with their parents for a while and the dad takes charge teaching them to eat on their own. Often mom is starting to lay eggs in a new nest. Bluebirds can lay up to 3 nests per season.
Patience: Be patient waiting for Bluebirds to find your nest box for it may take a few seasons. Once a romantic Bluebird couple finds your box, it is a sure guarantee they will nest in it and come back year after year. By the way, bluebird mates and will faithfully remain together for their entire life!
I am PROUD and honored that Bluebirds just nested in my Bluebird box in my yard. On April 28, 2009, I saw three Bluebird eggs in my box and on April 29, 2009, I saw four Bluebird eggs. A Tree Swallow couple is in the process of building their nest in another Bluebird box, just a short distance from my Bluebird’s house.
Below are pictures with dates of my sighting of the Bluebird eggs in my nest box. I will include new pictures as I take them. This is for all fellow Bluebird lovers who want to watch my Bluebird’s progress.
It’s now time for us to help provide Bluebirds with ACCESSIBLE nesting homes so they continue to survive flourish and amaze us all by their beauty. It only takes one Bluebird house in your yard for you to help a Bluebird find a new accessible home!
Thank you Bluebirds! I truly love you all!!!
Section II: Most recent 2010 pictures of Songbirds nesting in our yard!
The Spring of 2010 has arrived and bluebirds and other birds are returning to nest in my yard. Below are the most recent 2010 pictures of Bluebirds and other Sonbirds nesting in my yard and my mom’s yard.
*To see my 2009 pictures of bluebirds and other birds nesting in my yard click on Bluebirds Nesting In My Yard – 2009 and scroll to end.
**A great website where you can Learn to Recognize Birds, Nests and Eggs is called Sialis @ http://www.sialis.org/nests.htm
***You can see our 2010 Videos of our Bluebirds and Songbirds Nests Eggs and Babies @ http://thetravelingwheelchair.com/videos-of-our-bluebirds-and-songbirds-nests-eggs-and-babies/
Click on Pictures to enlarge!
1. Video of Bluebirds nesting in my yard
Bluebird entering my house
First Bluebird egg
in my nest April 29, 2010
2. Bluebirds and Bluebird nests, eggs & babies in my mom’s yard
First baby Bluebird born
in my mom’s nest April 28, 2010
Five baby Bluebirds
five days old May 2, 2010
Tufted Titmouse nest
with 6 speckled eggs in my
bird house April 18, 2010
4. Video of Tree Swallows nests, eggs & babies in my yard
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4hBK8idxkM
Tree Swallow built nest
in my box May 6, 2010
5. Video of White-breasted Nuthatch nest & eggs & babies in my moms yard
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hMgob9metY
Other Song birds in my yard