Many people think that all you need to do to attract bluebirds is to offer them housing. While this is certainly a key first step, there are several other ways you can help and enjoy bluebirds even more. A real key is water……make it available because like most thrushes, bluebirds bathe with enthusiasm and are readily attracted to water. Often a simple birdbath will do the job but the key is to position the bath so there is a perching site nearby for the birds to preen after their bath. Many of you have excitedly told us about bluebirds coming “right on the deck” when you position your birdbath up close so you can enjoy it.
Offer food – mealworms, insects and peanuts are some of their favorite foods. In fact 60-80% of their diet is insects so mealworms in the colder months will provide and excellent source of protein until the weather get warmer and the insects are more plentiful. Bluebirds are very eager eaters and will eat at a platform feeder, tray mounted on a post, dish, suet feeder or even a window feeder. You might spend weeks trying different presentations for your mealworm feeder before the bluebird learns to dine regularly……but the results are worth it as bluebirds are delightfully trainable – some people whistle every day when they feed their bluebirds and within a short period of time, their birds are waiting for them at the feeder when they get there.
Provide perches – an open area with some trees and tall grass is the best habitat for your bluebirds. Places for the bluebirds to perch so they can look for natural food such as fence lines, utility wires, and tree branches are essential. Keep this in mind when selecting the best place for your nesting boxes. If bluebirds do not like the habitat, they will look for another site.
When is the best time to put up a bluebird house?? To maximize your chances of attracting bluebirds, very early spring is your best bet. I like to have them up as early as February. This will give them a chance to claim their home before other birds do. Once you attract a bluebird couple to your yard, you’re “hooked”.
Bluebirds are very beautiful and docile creatures. Create a habitat for them and you can enjoy many years of enjoyment by having them around!■