Bluebirds are some of the most beautiful birds around, especially the males with their stunning bright blue plumage! Their feathers even look fluorescent in some lighting conditions.
Learn how to attract these beautiful song birds to your yard with some helpful tips and general knowledge.
I still remember my excitement upon seeing them up close for the first time visiting my ClearView Window Bird Feeder. Unfortunately, Bluebird populations are declining primarily due to pesticide use and predators.
You can help make a difference by providing a safe environment for them to feed, breed, and raise their families. You can help by providing adequate food, water, and safe housing for these amazing birds to thrive!
Bluebirds live across the US. There are Eastern, Western, and Mountain varieties which are a little larger than their coastal brethren. All are gorgeous birds! Click for habitat ranges – Eastern, Western, Mountain
Bluebirds are insect eaters, so they are typically not attracted to traditional bird feeders stocked with
They do however love mealworms!
How to attract Bluebirds to your yard
1) Use mealworms instead of seed
Bluebirds are insect eaters. They love live mealworms even more than dried, but live mealworms are more expensive and require refrigeration. You can buy 5 lb bags of dried mealworms on Amazon for about $35.
In the Spring, if there are Bluebird babies or fledglings near, you may want to consider supplementing with live mealworms to provide additional nutrition to give them a great start!
2)Buy a quality Window-Mounted Bird Feeder.
You will love seeing them up-close as they come to brighten your windows with their vibrant blue colors. Buy a good feeder that is easy to clean and won’t yellow in a single season. It will last longer and be worth the extra investment. We don’t recommend using platform feeders for bird health reasons.
I recommend ClearView Deluxe as it has antimicrobial properties embedded in the acrylic and is dishwasher safe, so you can simply toss it in the top rack of your dishwasher every few weeks to keep the birds safer from deadly diseases like Salmonella. ClearView makes a perfect Bluebird Mealworm Feeder!
3)Clean and sanitize your feeder(s) regularly.
Use a 9:1 water to bleach solution on a bi-weekly basis to prevent bird-borne diseases, or better yet, find a feeder you can clean in your dishwasher like Clearview. If your feeder is dishwasher-safe, rinse it outside, place it in the top rack of your dishwasher by itself without any other dishes and run it on the sanitize setting. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any bird feeder.
4)Don’t use pesticides nearby!
Bluebirds are insect eaters. If they eat live or dead insects that have been sprayed with insecticide, they will likely die. This is particularly important for babies and fledglings as they are highly sensitive to insecticides and pesticides. Let the birds do the work for you organically to keep insects at bay.
5)Provide a clean water source.
This is critical for birds, as they don’t always have access to sanitary alternatives. Birds need water, too! Find a feeder that keeps the water separated from the feed and/or purchase a shallow bird bath and regularly replace the water to keep it sanitary. Birding experts recommend replacing bird bath water every other day. If you live in a cold area, you may want to consider a bird bath heater during winter to provide a year-round supply.
Clearview is uniquely designed with water bays physically separated from the feed to keep the water cleaner longer! And it is much simpler to maintain than a bird bath.
7)Make sure you stock your feeder during winter months.
Winter is the time when insects are scarce. They will likely nest come Spring near reliable food sources.
If there are Bluebirds in your area, they will find you! For me, it took almost 4 weeks, but when they found me, they came in bunches of 4-6 birds at a time.
I hope you enjoy them as I have. It is a great feeling to initially attract them, but even better to see them safely breed new generations and see their (initially awkward) spotted babies grow up in all their beautiful glory. They will brighten your days for years to come.
You will also enjoy the other birds that are attracted to mealworms, including Cardinals, Wrens, and some Sparrows. But the brightly colored Bluebirds are my absolute favorites.
Join the Cause for Bird Health! Check out the Bird Safety features with ClearView Deluxe. It makes a great Bluebird Feeder and is the first Window Bird Feeder with 4 Layers of Protection for Bluebirds. You can make a difference in providing a safe environment for Bluebirds to thrive!
6)Set up a Bluebird house.
The best time to set up is early spring. They will check out the new digs multiple times to make sure it is safe and secure for Bluebird babies. You can buy bird houses specifically sized for accommodating Bluebirds! A Bluebird house should have an entry hole of approximately 1.5” diameter (1 9/16 th inches for Western and Mountain Bluebirds). If the entry hole is too large, larger predator birds will threaten them.
Putting up a strategically placed Bluebird house will provide the shelter and protection they need from predators. Place it 4-6 feet off the ground, and make sure there is not a place for larger predators to perch nearby (within 3-5 feet) to avoid an ambush. Find a bird house that has access to make cleaning easier. Some like to clean it after each brood, which can be 3 or even four times a season if you’re lucky!
Here are some additional tips to provide a safe environment for Bluebirds to thrive!
The best time to set up a bird house is early Spring (Feb. – March) at least a month prior to nesting time. The female will scope out the house for potential with the doting and curious male following her lead, patiently waiting for her to make her selection. She may even select a few options and start building multiple nests before making her final decision.
Keep in mind Bluebirds are territorial birds when they are nesting and especially when fledglings are nearby. I’ve seen parents take turns dive bombing a squirrel in my backyard to divert it from the area near their nest!
It should be placed at least 4 feet high. Preferably at least 20-25 feet from feeders or other bird houses to reduce tension with other birds. Make sure the house entrance has an easy entrance/exit (no perches nearby), so they are clear of any ambush by a predator bird.
If you have snakes in your area, you should consider placing the house on a pole with a baffle, so snakes and squirrels are not able to get at the eggs.
Some people will put a small screen at the bottom of the house to keep the nest elevated (just about an inch or so) and dryer from possible infiltrating moisture, and it can serve to help keep ants at bay also. You can place a dusting of diatomaceous earth which can help deter ants also.
Some also make sure babies are able to easily climb to the exit hole by using a knife to cut small slits and notches beneath the exit which the babies can use to climb and prepare for their grand first flight! Some people have experienced their Bluebirds only eat live mealworms. If this is the case, we recommend a transition process starting with live mealworms, then begin adding dried mealworms in the mix so the Bluebirds get used to the change. Reduce the amount of live mealworms over a few weeks until you provide only dried.
One downside to feeding with dried mealworms is they contain only trace amounts of calcium (which the females need to lay strong, healthy eggs). You can supplement with eggshell chips (chopped small enough for them to eat) or sprinkle with a little Calcium Carbonate powder.
As an alternative to dried mealworms, you can use dried black soldier fly grubs. They contain more calcium than dried mealworms-. They look similar to dried mealworms, just a bit larger and darker in color, and they contain about 50 times more calcium than dried mealworms.
At the first sign of babies, consider offering live mealworms or grubs to give them more nutrition during their initial weeks of life. The parents will be appreciative as well to reduce their hunting time and keep a better lookout for possible threats nearby.