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8 Top Tips to Attract Bluebirds to Your Yard

Updated: Mar 4


Bluebirds are some of the most beautiful birds in the U.S.

bluebird sitting on tree with flowers around

The three primary species in North America are the Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebird.


Sadly, and unfortunately, their populations are declining, primarily due to the human use of pesticides and competition from an aggressive invasive bird species – the House Sparrow.


You can help Bluebirds thrive by providing adequate food, water, and safe pesticide-free housing for these stunning birds.


So what are the best ways to attract Bluebirds to your yard?? Here are some tips to invite and entice them to bless your backyard.






1. Provide mealworms instead of seed


Bluebirds are insect eaters, and they love mealworms! Their favorite are live mealworms. Many Bluebird lovers provide dried mealworms instead, which are less expensive and don’t require refrigeration. You can buy 2 lb bags of dried mealworms on Amazon for about $20. Or with a little effort and patience, you can raise your own live mealworms!


Another option is to use Black Soldier Fly Grubs! They are a little larger than mealworms, but

they contain 50 times more calcium that females need in the spring for the healthiest eggs! I

typically will supplement these grubs in the spring months to help the females get their needed calcium.



2. Buy a good window bird feeder


You will love seeing them up-close as they come to brighten your window(s) with their vibrant blue colors. Standard house/hopper feeders get messy and never seem to work with dispensing meal worms.

two birdbirds enjoying a meal in a window bird feeder

Buy a window feeder that is easy to clean and UV resistant, so it won’t yellow in a single season. It will last longer and be worth the extra investment.


Some models are now able to be cleaned and sanitized in your dishwasher. I recommend ClearView Deluxe as it Feeds AND Protects Bluebirds.




It is available on Amazon -


3. Clean and sanitize your feeder(s) regularly to protect them


Use a 9:1 water-to-bleach solution on a bi-weekly or at least monthly basis to prevent bird-borne diseases, or better yet, find a feeder you can sanitize in your dishwasher. If using bleach, first clean and remove debris, soak in the bleach solution at least 10 minutes to effectively sanitize, rinse thoroughly as even small traces of bleach are dangerous to birds, and dry completely before refilling.


If your feeder is dishwasher-safe, rinse it outside, place it in the top rack of your dishwasher by itself without any other dishes or household items. But first, confirm your feeder is dishwasher-safe, otherwise, it will likely rust, deform, or get cloudy/hazy from the heat, chemicals, and detergents. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling any bird feeder.



4. 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 water separated from the feed and/or purchase a shallow bird bath and regularly replace the water to keep it sanitary.



















5. Set up a Bluebird house in your backyard


Bluebirds take readily to nest boxes. The best time to set up is early spring, at least a month before breeding season. They will check out the new digs multiple times to make sure it is safe and secure for Bluebird babies. There are specific bird houses with entryways that are properly sized for Bluebirds. The entrance hole should be about 1.5 inches in diameter to fit Bluebirds and prevent competitor species from entering.

bluebird flying into a bird house in a backyard


Place the nest box 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. They sometimes use the same nest 2-3 times per season, so try to find a bird house that has a front or back door that can open to make cleaning easier.


Keep in mind, Bluebirds are territorial, so provide some distance from your feeder(s) and other bird houses you may have (at least 10-15 feet distance minimum to avoid unwanted confrontations).




6. DON’T USE PESTICIDES nearby!


If Bluebirds eat live or dead insects that have been sprayed with insecticide, they will likely get very sick and probably die. This is particularly important for babies and fledglings as they are highly sensitive to insecticides and pesticides.



7. Stock for Winter


bluebird on a branch in the winter

If you live in Southern migration areas, make sure you stock your feeder during winter months, as that is the time when food is most scarce. They will likely nest come Spring near reliable food sources.





8. Be patient!


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 Bluebirds at a time! What a treat! I love to watch and photograph them, and when the lighting is just right, they even look iridescent!


















You will also enjoy the other insect-loving birds that are attracted to mealworms, including Cardinals, Wrens, Warblers, and some Sparrows. But the brightly colored Bluebirds are my absolute favorites.


Enjoy!








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2 Comments


I have humminburd feeders in my front yard. Wil a blueburd feeder on a front window pose a problem to either of these birds?

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Deborah James
Deborah James
Apr 16, 2022

Stunning I love birds, bought some feed for them mostly cardinals and watching them eat it up. Now I have the tips for adding bluebirds to my area. shopping later today

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