Bluebirds are some of the most beautiful birds in the U.S.
You can help 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 dried mealworms instead of seed
Bluebirds are insect eaters, and they love mealworms! They love live mealworms even more, but those are more expensive and require refrigeration. You can buy 5 lb bags of dried mealworms on Amazon for about $36.
My favorite is from Hatortempt Non-GMO Dried Mealworms.
You can purchase here. https://amzn.to/3JwkHy8
Or with a little effort and patience, you can raise your own live mealworms!
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.
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.
Here’s a good article on why and how to clean your feeder regularly - https://watchingbackyardbirds.com/wbbsite/article/how-to-clean-your-bird-feeder.php
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.
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). Here’s a basic cedar nest box I recommend on Amazon for about $25 - https://amzn.to/37z4KZR
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
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!
Here are some of the bluebird friends that visit my ClearView Deluxe Window Bird Feeder!
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.
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