Audubon Natural Cedar Bluebird House
Audubon Natural Cedar Bluebird House
Quality handcrafted with all natural cedar, this Bluebird house by Audubon will attract beautiful Bluebirds to your yard for years! Easy to clean- there’s no screw driver necessary to open the front panel. 2 mounting screws included. Measures 12”Hx6”W. Made in USA
Selecting a Site:
- Bluebirds prefer farmland, meadows, rural schoolyards, cemeteries and other open habitats. They rarely nest in woodlands and cities.
- Locate your nest box within 50 feet of a tree, tall shrub or other solitary perch. The adults use this to scan the ground for insect prey and the young use the perch on their first flights from the box. This keeps them off the ground and reduces the risk from predators.
- Mount the box on a freestanding pipe, pole or sturdy fence post about 5 feet off the ground. Face the box way from prevailing winds and preferably toward the nearest tree or shrub so that young birds can easily fly to the perch rather than landing on the ground.
- Avoid locating your nest box near a forest edge or shrubby hedgerow. This reduces risk of competition with House Wrens, which often displace Bluebirds with their bulky stick nests. Also avoid placing the nest box in locations such as barnyards and cities where House Sparrows are common. Like House Wrens, House Sparrows can usurp nest boxes from Bluebirds.
- The diameter of the entrance hole for your nest box will likely exclude European Starlings, but House Sparrows and House Wrens may attempt to use the box. To favor Bluebirds, remove House Sparrow nests and consider relocating the box to a site where these sparrows are less of a concern. Habitat considerations are the best way to determine which species will use your box. Bluebirds rarely nest in wooded habitats, but Chickadees, Titmice and Great-crested Flycatchers may use the box if it is placed in the woods. Some Bluebird boxes feature a predator protector, which his a block of wood surrounding the entrance hole. This will assist in protecting the young birds from predators reaching in the nesting box.
- Tree Swallows and Violet Green Tree Swallows also compete with Bluebirds for nest boxes. The best way to benefit both is to place two boxes near each other. By placing boxes 5-15' apart, the highly territorial swallows will chase other swallows from the vicinity of their nest, but they will not usually fight with a neighboring Bluebird.
- Avoid using lawn and garden pesticides. Bluebirds and other cavity-nesting birds are primarily insect-eaters and are very vulnerable to poisoning from pesticides. Lawn chemicals not only kill backyard birds, but runoff from yards into nearby wetlands and ground water can affect wildlife far from your home.
- Plant berry-producing shrubs that provide food throughout the seasons. Bluebirds especially like flowering dogwood, serviceberries, elderberries, spicebush, hollies and blueberries.
Maintaining the Nest Box:
- At the end of each season (usually by October) clean out your nest box by removing old nesting material. If nest boxes are not cleaned, Bluebirds will usually build a new nest on top of the old nest, which makes their eggs vulnerable to predators such as raccoons. Cleaning will also reduce the risk of over wintering blowflies and other parasites.
- If you encountered parasites when cleaning out old nesting material use a mixture of 1 part bleach 10 parts water to sanitize nesting box
- Check your nesting box again in late February (in southern states) or early March - just prior to the beginning of the Bluebird nesting cycle
- Check your nesting box periodically during the nesting season for wasps making nests at the top of the box. If wasps become a chronic problem you can coat the top of the box with candle wax.
- Bluebirds begin nesting in late February in the southern US and late March to early April in the north. Bluebirds stay on their nesting territories throughout the year in the south, but usually leave the north in the winter.
- Bluebirds lay 4-5 eggs (sometimes white) and incubate for 12-14 days
- Both parents feed the young for 18-21 days. 2-3 broods are common.
- Ten or more Bluebirds may use a nest box as a communal roost in the winter
Info provided by Audubon/ Stephen W. Kress