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Bluebirds’ Favorite Home at the Edge of the Forest

Bluebirds Love the Meadow’s Edge — Where the Forest Begins

It’s not just the menu that attracts bluebirds to your bird feeder. You have to live in or choose the right place. Bluebirds love country habitats and rarely can be seen in urban or highly populated, heavily-paved areas with overcrowding and constant development. They prefer open spaces, so if you live near nature, you’re in luck. Farming and suburban communities are ideal, especially if they are near the woods or close to parks.

If you don’t think you have an ideal property at your home for bluebirds, don’t worry. There may be plenty of places near your home to set up a bird feeder if you can. You could put something up near the edge of nearby woods. Park areas may allow a bird feeder or look for a quiet location along rivers, lakes or streams.

Golf courses attract bluebirds because of the wide-open spaces. There are plenty of trees and bushes nearby. Check with the owners. Feeders don’t have to be near play. Many golf courses are huge with extended properties and plenty of natural growth along the perimeter. Just be careful if you hear someone yell, “Fore!” The same possibilities exist with other sporting areas. Playing fields for baseball, football, soccer or other recreational locations might have natural surrounding spots for bird feeders. Kids will even like the idea of having unique birds come by.

These ideas are only necessary if you happen to live in the city or areas heavily concreted and want to enjoy feeding birds, especially bluebirds. But you can always give feeders a try no matter where you live. Bluebirds might still be attracted to a specific feeding station in bad weather or uncomfortable habitats. If they happen to come upon food placed on your tray, they will keep coming back. In fact, they won’t have a need to fly somewhere warmer when they know where to get a supply of bird feed.

Using the type of Bird Feeder Plans and Birdhouse Plans Which Build the Best  Environment for Bluebirds

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Bluebird House Where the Bushes Begin — Perfect

Place your feeders in a wide open space on your property as well. This gives the birds a better chance of noticing your feeding station. Some bluebirds, especially the western bluebird, enjoy nesting in holes or cavities. You could add some food to holes in trees to attract bluebirds.

Just think nature and open space when you want to attract bluebirds. A nice wide property with some trees, plants or bushes will bring the birds to your yard or nearby area. Bluebirds want their space, especially if there’s food available. Keep a supply of berries, fruits, breads or other soft foods available in case you notice bluebirds hovering above and place them in feeders, trays or holes in trees. The birds will keep coming back.

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Bluebird At His Nesting Box

Bluebirds Love to Live Near Fields, Golf Courses, or Undeveloped Land

The easiest way to get the bluebirds to come to your back yard is very simple.  Live near open spaces and put up a nesting box for them.  Bluebirds like to live in hollow areas like hollows of a tree or the little birdhouse you built for them and attached to a tree near the open space in your backyard.

Needless to say, perfect hollows are not that common in trees, so a small nesting box will be found and appreciated by the bluebird.  One really good way to attract the bluebird is by attaching bluebird houses in the trees or mounting them on poles facing the trees about every one hundred feet.  Add to this an open tray feeder with some meal worms in the one location of your property where the best blue bird habitat with trees is located.

Bluebirds love a source of water too, like a bird bath or good sized container of water from which to drink.  In addition, trying to cover all bases, hang a suet feeder too.   Bluebirds do love suet feeders, and for good measure they love peanuts.  It is a really good idea to keep peanuts handy and fresh in your freezer if they happen into your yard unexpectedly.

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How To Build A Bluebird House

Bluebird houses are simple to build and make a great weekend project.  Place on a pole about four to six feet from the ground and facing a tree.   Separate additional bluebird houses by at least 100 feet because bluebirds can be very territorial.

Bluebirds are such wonderful backyard friends.  They are so tame at times, if you are patient, you can literally have them eating out of your hands.  You can keep the party going too, especially if you will clean the box well right after you see the young have left.

If you do this, there is a very good chance the adult birds will have a second and maybe even a third brood of birds before the season is over   For me at least, there could never be enough bluebirds in my backyard.

Remember to give them a house and they will make it a home.  If you’ll have it ready by early March, they will come.  You should watch carefully though to keep certain pesky birds and other animals out of the empty box before the bluebirds find it.

Squirrels may even take it over and enlarge the hole by gnawing the wood.  Run the squirrel out and replace the front board with a fresh board with an opening the right size for the bluebird.  The size of the opening is critical as to what kind of bird will use the box.  Watch too for wasps.  If you find them, spray them and remove their nest and clean any debris out of the house.  Be aware that other birds might get into the house too.   Woodpeckers, like squirrels may enlarge the hole, and sparrows just take over.  If sparrows get in, clean out any nest they made and stuff the hole up until you are sure they are gone.

As you can see from the picture, this is a simple woodworking project.  It is merely a wooden box with a backing hearty enough to attach to a pole or tree.  You probably have the scrap wood in your garage to make one.  However, you will need some kind of plans to make that happen.  Personally, I have used the plans found in the package set of plans produced by Ted’s Woodworking Plans.  There are literally thousands of choices, and when you graduate from birdhouses and bird feeders you can make Adirondack chairs, furniture, shelves, toys….  you name it.

 

Birdhouse  Plans for Your Neighborhood Bluebirds

 

Marshall Brain is the real brain behind the incredible information resource
known as HowStuffWorks.com, a great “How To” website.  In addition to being

A pair of Western Bluebirds, the male with his brilliant blue feathers and his mate with more subdued hints of blue interwoven throughout her feathers

Pair of Western Bluebirds

a former president of a multimillion dollar software company, Marshall is a renowned author and award-winning professor.

In “The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World” and his other books, Marshall demonstrates the rare skill of being able to communicate complex ideas in clear, easy to understand language. Who better to tackle a set of bird house plans and break it down for us?

If you are looking for a great project for a child, then building a bluebird house is your answer.  Bluebirds can be lured into your backyard with appetizing mealy worms, fruit, and suet.  Use bird feeder plans and save some money by building your own bluebird feeder and bluebird house.  A suet bird feeder which has a tray is the perfect way to entice these beautiful birds, and remember to put out fruit scraps when you have them.

What size should your bluebirds’ birdhouse be?  That depends, of course, on
the size of your birds.  Eastern, Western, and Mountain bluebirds all need a
house with a floor measuring 5×5 inches, a height of 6 to 12 inches, a hole 4-10 inches above the floor, and from 4 to 10 feet above the ground.  The hole diameter for Eastern and Western bluebirds should be 1 1/2 inches, while the Mountain Bluebird needs about 1 9/16.

If you are working with children, the careful measurements and cutting

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds on a tree branch, he with his burnt orange chest and his royal blue feathers, and her with her orange chest and more muted blue feathers

Pair of Eastern Bluebirds

process can take too long, especially if you are meeting with a group of school kids, Boy or Girl Scouts, or other meeting-based groups.  This is why Marshall assembled a bluebird house kit and plans.  This turns the construction of a birdhouse into an afternoon project – and one kids can be proud of.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post which will tell you what you need to assemble your own bluebird bird house and where to get a set of bird feeder plans and birdhouse plans for the bluebird.