Saturday, March 28, 2009

You Gotta love Bluebirds

You gotta love bluebirds. They are cute, colorful, friendly, and more tolerant of us crazy humans than most birds. This is the time of year that they are beginning to nest in Tennessee. Now is the time to act if you want to attract them to your yard. I can’t think of a more fun or rewarding bird to have around.

Bluebirds are very tolerant of people. If you have bluebirds nesting in a nest box in your yard you will be able to watch them carry materials to the box to build a nest, catch insects in your lawn, feed the babies, and watch the babies grow up and leave the nest. You can open the box and look in anytime until the 12th day after hatching without causing any problems or scaring them away. What other wild animal can provide all of this enjoyment?

Here are three quick stories to give you encouragement. At age 30 I had never seen a bluebird in my life in Pennsylvania. On a whim, my dad built some bluebird boxes and that first summer he had bluebirds nesting in several boxes. Second story…while at my daughter’s house in Ohio about 10 years ago at Christmas time, I saw some bluebirds. I built her two bluebird boxes and she has raised bluebird babies almost every year since. Third story…a month ago I sent a bluebird box to a friend in Texas. He put up the box and within a week he had bluebirds nesting in it. I can’t guarantee you that success, but I can guarantee that if you don’t put a bluebird box in you yard you almost certainly won’t get bluebirds.

Here is how to attract bluebirds to your yard.

  1. Get some information. I recommend a small booklet called “Enjoying Bluebirds More” available at Lowes or on line through Bird Watches Digest. A great free brochure called “Bluebirds, A Tennessee Tradition” is available at the TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) office near Centennial Park in Crossville.
  2. Build or buy an approved bluebird nest box. Both of the publications listed above have next box plans. Don’t buy a cheap non-approved box.
  3. Keep in mind that bluebirds favor open areas like lawns or fields with small trees to perch on. If your lot is completely heavily wooded it might not attract bluebirds.
  4. Be patient. If you don’t get bluebirds the first nesting of the year you might get them the 2nd. If not this year, then maybe next.

Nature can be fun, relaxing and very enjoyable. Attracting bluebirds to your yard is like having a pet without all the expense and cleanup. Bluebirds are also very beneficial since they eat many insects. Try it. Now is the time. They are looking for places to nest as you read this. Good luck.