Setting Up a Bluebird Trail Part 1: Why?

This is the perfect time of year to plan and prepare for the coming of the bluebirds. If you are serious about birding, you really should consider putting in a bluebird box or two. Several years ago my husband and his father started putting in blue bird houses following the trails that we had developed throughout our rural properties. Now every Spring we anxiously wait to see the first bluebird pair fly in and routinely check the boxes to watch for nestlings. Some years we’ve been successful, others we have not, but every year has been worthwhile!

Years ago bluebirds had many natural nesting cavities. They prefer open spaces at the edge of forests and would use old woodpecker nests, open knot holes in trees and other natural cavities or even rock crevices. But the introduction of the house sparrow and European starling changed all of that. These two invasive species not only took over those natural nesting cavities, but they began to prey on the bluebirds themselves, causing the bluebird population to dwindle.

Now, these beautiful birds are on a comeback thanks to many bird lovers who have put in and maintained man-made nest boxes. But the bluebirds are not the only ones to benefit. It is a joy for any bird watcher to hear the beautiful song of the bluebird and to watch the brilliant flash of blue as it flies by. As Henry David Thoreau said, “He carries the sky on his back.”

2 thoughts on “Setting Up a Bluebird Trail Part 1: Why?

  1. I love bluebirds. Every spring bluebirds nest in our neighbor’s newspaper tube. You know, the tube thing below the mailbox where the newspaper is supposed to get delivered. I’m not sure how well they have survived in there, but I’ve certainly looked in to see eggs in the past. After that, though, I’ve left them alone so I didn’t get a nesting bluebird in the face while trying to see what was happening with the eggs. I vote for lots and lots of bluebird nesting boxes – much better than mailbox tubes!


  2. How funny! They must have been well-educated birds being able to peruse the paper!I’ve read that some people have had good luck attracting bluebirds with houses made from PVC pipe. Those birds would definitely be “styling” and “uptown” in swanky digs like that!


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