Thursday, March 15, 2012

I spent this beautiful Spring morning watching four bird houses that I have in my yard. I was waiting to see which of them have new residents. Two for sure have a bluebird couple occupyig them. One of them seems to have a chickadee that has taken over. The other house I put out early this seek has no visitors yet, as far as I can see. I will keep my eye on it and see if a little birdie decides to make it a home. In the meantime, our weather has been so beautiful this second week in March, that bird watching is the perfect thing to do. Picture taken from the NC Bluebird Society newsletter for March.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Read All About Me

Please read all about me in all the posts on this blog. It will help you make nice homes for family and me. Thank you!

Time To Help Us Out

     Oh it is time to think about helping us out. We need some house cleaning this month. Please help us by cleaning out our homes. It is time to put up new houses for our friends. We like to scout out places we might want to build nests in during February. Lots of us are out there looking so if you can help we would be
so happy. Scroll down this blog and you will find out all you need to know to keep us happy and our families growing.
Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Is Time To Think About Your Bluebirds

Hello everyone! I am Carol and I am your McDowell County Bluebird Society cooridinator. Here is some
information to get you excited about helping our McDowell County Eastern Bluebirds. Look over my entire blog and  you will find almost any informatin you will need. If you need more just email me at and I will try to answer your questions.

Bluebird breeding cycles are late February through mid-August. In late February and early March, the male bluebird begins staking out his territory, usually encompassing many acres, searching for a place to nest.

Once he has established "his territory," he will sing along the borders letting all other passerby's know where his territory is, thus fending off all male intruders and welcoming the females.

During courtship display, male sings and flutters in front of the female with half open wings and fanned tail. Later, it perches close to female to preen her, and sometimes, it will offer some food. Male perform displays at nest cavity, bringing nest materials to the hole, going in and out, and waving its wings while it perches above the hole, in order to attract female.

Eastern Bluebirds become aggressive and may fight between them, during breeding season. Eastern bluebird male utters a song like a warning cry, when an intruder approaches. If female is alone, she begins to sing, hoping a protective male. Both adults also flick wings and warble when predator is nearby.

When a curious female enters his territory, she continues to the nest box he has selected. While the male is perched on top of the box, the female will enter to begin inspecting. This ritual repeats itself, box after box, until the female finds something suitable.

Once a box is selected, the female begins to build the nest inside using grass, and pine straw. She will lay three to six eggs and incubates them for twelve to sixteen days. After the eggs hatch, both male and female bluebirds care for the nestlings until they fledge, generally fourteen to eighteen days after hatching. This is definitely a sight to see!  Info from: Bluebird Notes from the North Carolina Bluebird Society

Happy Bluebirding!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Pictures of Our Bluebirds

My Momma Bird

In our backyard, I caught a pic of the momma bluebird that raises her babies by our peach tree.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

January Brought the Bluebird Season

Many Bluebirds can be seen in our county during winter. A few are seen in town as more people provide year round food, fresh water and a good nest box for their use. To attract Bluebirds to your backyard you need a bluebird feeder filled with "winter pudding" or mealworms. Bluebirds cannot eat sunflower and other seeds a their beaks are not designed for this. Bluebirds eat insects, berries and man made food mixes such as winter pudding. They can best be fed by making a feeder with see through sides and with 1.5 inch holes at each end. Dogwood berries and mealworms which can be purchased locally attract bluebirds. Winter pudding can also be put in saucers around the yard for any bird.

"Approximate Nesting Schedule for Bluebirds in North Carolina"

Jan/Feb- Bluebirds begin looking for nest box
March/April- Nest building and egg laying
April/May- First hatching
June/July- Second hatching
August- Third hatching

Jim Felts in Wilkes county reported an egg laid on March 7, 2002. So it really helps to get your bird house in place in January or early February.

Bluebirds are territorial during the nesting season and typically will not build within 100 yards of another bluebird nest. The male selects the site and begins courting. When the female accepts she will do virtually all of the nest building. She will lay one egg a day until 3-6 eggs are laid. Incubation begins after the last egg is laid and the brood will hatch in 13-14 days. Both adults then begin their frantic search for small soft insects to feed the young. Each nestling is fed about every 20 minutes. This is a most enjoyable time to watch the activity around the bluebird box.

After 17-18 days the young are ready to fledge. They climb to the entrance hole and look out and generally settle back in the nest. Instinct beckons however and soon all leave the nest ususally on the same day. Watching this nesting cycle will make you proud that you have helped. (Info from the NCBS)

Winter Pudding Recipe

You may want to try this "Winter Pudding" recipe for your bluebird feeder!

2 quarts water
1 cup margarine
4 cups grits (not instant)
1 cup peanut butter
raisins and peanut hearts (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring water and margarine to a boil. Slowly add grits, stirring and cooking until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, raisins and peanut hearts. Mix together well, then place in feeders. Freeze the balance in low plastic or foil containers for future use.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bluebird Food- Yummy!

Here are several recipes for food that bluebirds like. They do not normally feed at birdseed feeders with other birds. I include a link to a bird feeder for bluebirds, or you can build your own.

Johnson County Mixture
1C Rendered Suet (beef fat) You can buy at grocery
1C Peanut Butter
Yellow cornmeal
Melt the fat, stir in peanut butter and mix cornmeal
to a good consistency.

Miracle Meal for Bluebirds
1C Flour
3 C Corn Meal
1/2 lb. lard or peanut butter (not crisco)
Peanut hearts or bits
Mix in electric mixer until mix makes a firm ball.
Mixture may be packed into 1 1/2" holes drilled into
vertical logs. Use a screw eye on top to hang up.

Bluebirds Love Mealworms

You can buy them here!
Grubco 1-800-222-3563
Natures Way 1-00-318-2611

Nice Bluebird House Plans For You

Progressive Farmer
(From Progressive Farmer Magazine webpage)

Bluebird Nut
Scary snake picture here! Watch out!
(From Bluebird Nut webpage

North American Bluebird Society

Clipart by "Lisa's Country Clipart"

Monday, February 9, 2009

NC Bluebird Society Membership Application

Copy and paste into your Word program and
print out to send in to join the NC Bluebird Society

North Carolina Bluebird Society
Membership Application
Our primary goal is to increase the bluebird (and
other cavity nester) population throughout
North Carolina. Become a member today.
NCBS memberships are for one or three years.
You will receive a copy of Bluebirds For Ever, a
pamphlet describing nest box monitoring, and four
newsletters, “Bluebird Notes” each year. The
newsletter articles will keep you informed regarding
bluebird activities in North Carolina as well as
Dues are $10.00 per year or
$25.00 for three years.
City:______________________ State:________
Zip Code:_____________
Phone Number:____________________
Mail this form and your check to:
David Hindsley
135 Lakeview Drive
Tarboro, NC 27886
Renewal membership?___________
New membership?______________
Check amount: $_______________________
Please indicate if you also have an interest in:
_____Establishing a bluebird trail in your area
_____Contacting your local paper with news
_____Volunteering to be a County Coordinator
_____Helping with the newsletter
_____Conducting a bluebird workshop
_____Serving as a NCBS Board Member
_____Assisting with the Annual Meeting
_____Submitting photos
_____Other (please explain)
Ideal location for
bluebird nest box
Bluebird nest and eggs
Pine needles and dried grasses.
Eggs are typically blue in color.
English Sparrow nest
Loosely woven grasses,
plastic and trash.
Eggs are white
with brown specks.
Email Address: _______________________

A Little Bit About Me-The Bluebird

Conservation status

The population of the Eastern Bluebird declined seriously enough in the past century to reach critical status by the mid-1900s. The decline was due to:

  1. Habitat destruction (loss of fields and nesting cavities in split-rail fences; clearing of dead trees)
  2. Pesticide use
  3. Nest predation by House Sparrows and European Starlings; both of which are non-native, introduced species.

The species was rescued by a network of birding enthusiasts who erected nesting boxes for Bluebirds, with close monitoring necessary to prevent House Sparrows from nesting in them. They remain thoughtful of conservation, however, with competition still prevalent from other species (e.g. Tree Swallows, which are a native species and which also nest in cavities) and in certain states of the US they can still be difficult to spot. It is worth noting that due to the increase in their numbers in the past few decades, they are not protected under CITES or U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Eastern Bluebird eggs

The Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and New York.

The Eastern Bluebird is also found in Bermuda, where the population may constitute a sub-species. Bermuda Bluebirds have become endangered by the loss of 8 million Bermuda cedar trees in the 1940s, and by nest predation from introduced Sparrows, Starlings, and Kiskadees. Kiskadees, introduced in 1957, have also contributed to declines of other species, such as the Cardinal and the Catbird. In 1987, Hurricane Emily destroyed much of Bermuda's forest habitat, adversely affecting the Bluebird and other tree-dependent species.


Approximately two-thirds of the diet of an adult eastern bluebird consists of insects and other invertebrates. The remainder of the bird's diet is made up of wild fruits. Favored insect foods include grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and beetles. Other food items include earthworms, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, sow bugs, and snails. Fruits are especially important when insects are scarce in the winter months. Some preferred winter food sources include dogwood, hawthorn, wild grape, and sumac and hackberry seeds. Supplemental fruits eaten include blackberries, bayberries, fruit of honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, Eastern Juniper, and pokeberries. Bluebirds feed by perching on a high point, such as a branch or fence post, and swooping down to catch insects on or near the ground. The availability of a winter food source will often determine whether or not a bird will migrate. If bluebirds do remain in a region for the winter, they will group and seek cover in heavy thickets, orchards, or other areas in which adequate food and cover resources are available. (From Wikipedia)

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, is a medium-sized thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands and orchards.

Adults have a white belly. Adult males (far right) are bright blue on top and have a reddish brown throat and breast. Adult females (near right) have lighter blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast and a grey crown and back. Eastern Bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf States and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua.

The bright blue breeding plumage of the male, easily observed on a wire or open perch, fluttering down to the mowed grass to capture a grasshopper, cricket or beetle makes this species a favorite of birders. The male's call includes sometimes soft warbles of jeew or chir-wi or the melodious song chiti WEEW wewidoo (Sibley, 2000). From wikipedia

Spring Is Coming

With the reprieve of warm weather this weekend, I am sure all of you had a little feeling that Spring is not far behind. Well, the Bluebird, that is so a part of nature in our area, will be feeling the urge to look for a nesting box. So it is important for all of us to be cleaning out our nesting boxes or putting up new ones. Do it now! I think I will try to get out today and get mine cleaned out. The bluebirds will start looking soon, if not now, with this warm weather. We want to have the boxes prepared for them. I will post an article on this subject a little later. Happy Bluebirding!