Do bluebirds really bring happiness? If that’s true, here are some tips to bring more happiness to your backyard. By now we hope you’ve chosen and installed your new bluebird nest box. If you already have bluebirds, implementing one or more of the following suggestions will provide some extra support. If you’re still hoping to attract them, these ideas will definitely help!
Water: It’s as vital for birds as it is for us, for both drinking and bathing. Bluebirds seem to be more attracted to moving water, so consider adding a Water Wiggler, mister, fountain, or dripper to your bath. Keep the bath clean and filled, and watch the birds come to enjoy a splash and a drink. If the birds seem hesitant to approach your bath, try placing a few rocks in the bath and winding some native vines or branches around it to create a more natural feel.
Mealworms: Dried, roasted, or live and wiggling, mealworms provide a great food source for bluebirds. Place feeders at least 20 feet away from the nest box, and not directly in front of the entrance hole. The nesting birds will appreciate the convenient food source, but prefer to have the hubbub of a busy feeder at a safe distance from the nest. Our Robin & Bluebird Medley combine the two foods a bluebird loves best in one convenient treat.
Hunting Perches: Bluebirds hunt by sitting on perches (think nest box lids, fence posts and dead trees) about 3 to 6 feet high to look for their prey. Their eyesight is unbelievable — a bluebird can see an insect from 20 feet away and swoop down on it from the perch. After the bluebird has exhausted the territory he can see from one perch, he’ll move on to a perch in a new area. It’s easy to put up a few hunting perches for your bluebirds — it can be as simple as pounding a 4′ stake into the lawn every 20 feet or so. Keep the grass mowed in the area to make hunting even easier for your blue friends.
Fruit-bearing Plants: During the warm season, insects make up the bulk of the bluebirds’ diet. They fill in the cracks with delicious fruits and berries, and when the insects are no longer available, they live on the fruit. Plus, the shrubs provide safe cover and protection, as well. Consider adding a few native, non-invasive shrubs, trees, and vines to your yard to provide the birds with nutritious fruit. A few favorites include mountain ash, serviceberry, elderberry, Eastern red cedar, flowering dogwood, and Virginia creeper. The experts at your Cooperative Extension office can help you find the best varieties for your location.
For nest boxes, feeders, food, and more information, visit Duncraft.com.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
It’s hot outside. It makes more sense now to plant drought tolerant plants. Consider sedums, they are a hardy succulent, a late summer bloomer and an amazing pollinator plant. To learn more click here for an informative video.
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!