How to Attract Bluebirds to Your Yard?

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Bluebirds are iconic little birds, found in nearly every corner in the world. These rapid, beautiful and cunning little creatures can truly make for a wonderful sight, so naturally, you might be looking for creative and reliable ways to attract them into your yard or garden.

The vibrantly blue birds (as the name might suggest!) are hard to miss with their gorgeous colourings and curious nature – they can be nervous around people, however, so they may be wary of visiting your yard. Don’t worry, though– there are a few great ways that you can encourage bluebirds to take residence in the flowers amongst your garden, making for a very pleasant view throughout the summer months.

Let’s take a look at the best tips and tricks to entice these delightful little creatures into your yard:

Where can you find Bluebirds?

The bluebird can be found in various places around the globe, but North America plays host to plenty of them. These adorable birds are known for covering the continent, making it possible to see them all the way from Canada straight over to Mexico. In fact, these little guys are even known to inhabit Honduras. They are particularly partial to areas surrounding the Rocky Mountains, as well as the Rocky Mountains themselves. This is a great area to look for bluebirds if you plan on going bluebird watching.

What do Bluebirds eat in the wild?

Bluebirds are known for eating a wide range of foods. This can be helpful to you because it makes them easier to cater to. However, some people are less than comfortable with the live side of their diet, which does require a certain kind of environment. Bluebirds absolutely love feasting on insects when they can. They are known for hunting in a variety of ways, and will have just as much fun snatching up moths as they will hunting down beetles on the ground. A huge part of their diet is insects when they can swing it. They enjoy all kinds of bugs, and even like insect larvae. While most other birds choose ground or flight-based insects, bluebirds are fine with either.

In addition to eating insects, they enjoy a solid plant-based diet as well. Bluebirds are known for their love of berries, as well as other types of fruit. Not only do they enjoy eating these fruit options from the plant itself, but they also enjoy a good offering of produce too. What makes bluebirds most interesting is their preference for local veggies. They are known to migrate more towards what they are used to, making them slightly less adventurous despite their expansive diet. This is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to ensuring that you are feeding them correctly.

How many kinds of Bluebirds are in the US?

The bluebird can be found in various places around the globe, but North America plays host to plenty of them. These adorable birds are known for covering the continent, making it possible to see them all the way from Canada straight over to Mexico. In fact, these little guys are even known to inhabit Honduras. They are particularly partial to areas surrounding the Rocky Mountains, as well as the Rocky Mountains themselves. This is a great area to look for bluebirds if you plan on going bluebird watching.

How to Attract Bluebirds to your yard?

1. Meal Worms

We’ve all got our favourite foods – bluebirds are no different. Bluebirds will go MAD for mealworms, making this one of the most effective ways to attract them into your land. There’s just a slight problem…

A bluebird will usually only eat a live mealworm, and trying to feed live insects to a bird can be EXTREMELY difficult. It is actually possible to feed mealworms to bluebirds straight from your hand, though this isn’t always guaranteed – a bird might still perceive you to be a threat, even if you’re offering food.

There are specialised feeders that you can buy, ideal for keeping the mealworms alive and contained. Alternatively, you may choose to scatter them loosely in your garden – this does open the possibility of escapees!

Mealworms can be bought fairly cheaply from most pet stores.

2. Open Areas

Strangely enough, bluebirds thrive in large, open areas with short grass and a minimal amount of hiding places. They survive by eating an assortment of insects, so an open area will provide optimal hunting conditions!

Insects, bugs and spiders are very good at hiding – tall grass or enclosed areas only make it easier for them to get away. A bluebird is much more likely to visit a large, open area than a small, cluttered one. Try to provide as much space as possible to increase the chance of receiving a visit.

For bonus points, keep perches readily available. They might be artificial, designated bird resting areas, or garden features that just happen to provide a perch on their own.

3. Natural Yard

You might be incredibly proud of your yard, and we don’t blame you – you’ve probably put a lot of hard work into making it an ideal spot for sitting back, relaxing, and of course, birdwatching. It makes sense, then, that you’d feel compelled to remove any dead trees or dead branches from your yard.

If you’re trying to attract bluebirds, you should leave dead trees (or at the very least, dead limbs) alone. Bluebirds are cavity-nesters, and dead wood can provide very important nesting or brooding sites for a variety of different species.

If a dead tree does present a risk, please don’t leave it up – even if you’re trying to attract birds. Your safety should ALWAYS be a priority.

4. Bird Feeder

One of the best ways to attract a plethora of flying friends to your garden is with the use of a designated bird feeder. They’re relatively inexpensive, can be loaded with a variety of different seeds or foods and attract a range of different species – if you’re confused as to which bird feeder might be best for you, you can see our definitive guide just here.

Bluebirds will generally stick to insects when they can, but will still appreciate the odd raisin or nut. The best feeds & seeds for a bluebird are:

5. Beware of the Cat

 Cats are infamously not very friendly towards birds of any type; in fact, most house cats actually enjoy the thrill of chasing any bird that might decide to visit your garden.

After all, cats are instinctual hunters. In the wild, they would rely on small birds and mammals for food or sustenance – these instincts haven’t gone away, and combined with a territorial nature, a cat can become a prominent threat to any bird in your yard.

If you do have out-door cats, bluebirds are much less likely to stop by: they’ll identify the threat, and steer clear of the possible danger. If you’re looking to invite bluebirds into your home (or yard!), it’s strongly recommended that you try to keep your cat’s indoors.

This won’t always be possible, as cats generally aren’t too keen on being kept inside. Why not lock your cats indoors for an hour or so instead, whilst you provide mealworms for your expected guests…

6. Plants

Many people like to control the plants in their yards and opt for plants that they personally like rather than what is native to the area. Bluebirds are known for their distinct interest in local plants and bug populations, which is one of the main reasons that planting local plants works wonders with them. Take the time to research what you can find in your area and see what plants are known to attract insects or offer them shelter. The bluebirds will love that you took the time to add a little extra nature to make them feel at home.

7. Berries

Bluebirds are partial to berries, and they also love all the bugs that are known to hang around them. These birds will happily pluck a berry right from the plant, so just focus on making sure that your plants are happy and growing well. The best way to gather their attention is to plant berries that match the local area. They enjoy a good meal of berries, particularly in winter, so invest in growing some local cuisine if you can.

8. Water Bath

Bluebirds love water. In fact, a bird bath might win them over before offering them food will. These birds are known for their passionate interest in splashing around in the water, so give them a reasonably shallow birdbath to spend some time in. 

These birds will have fun drinking and splashing around to their heart’s content. If you really want to keep their attention, make sure that you keep the birdbath clean and focus on keeping freshwater in it. Bluebirds love clean water, so a little daily maintenance can do a lot when it comes to catching their attention.

Moving water can also grab a bluebirds attention due it’s sound! An easy way to achieve this is by using a solar powered fountain pump which uses the power of the sun to keep water flowing throughout the day!

9. Leave Bugs

Bluebirds love bugs and do an excellent job of gobbling them up when they get the chance. These amazing birds are known for their extensive taste in insects, and they love to eat the babies as well. While most people are weary about the idea of leaving the insects in their yards left unchecked, attracting bluebirds in the area can make it seem like you don’t even have them. These birds are known for hunting in the air and on the ground. If you want to keep them engaged, take the time to grow a healthy insect population for them to hunt!

Do Bluebirds Migrate?

The migratory habits of a bluebird are somewhat strange; unlike most other avian species, which will usually migrate once or twice per year or remain put, a bluebird’s habits will change based on the weather.

If food sources are scarce throughout the winter, a bluebird will generally migrate to Mexico, where there will be an abundance of food. If the winter berries have grown, though, a bluebird may choose to remain home over the winter.

Why do Bluebirds abandon their eggs?

You may have noticed that a bluebird has built a nest and promptly abandoned it. If this has happened, there’s no need to worry – it’s actually very important that you DO NOT touch the eggs under any circumstances.

When a bluebird first lays their eggs (up to 7 at a time!), they don’t need to be immediately incubated. A bird might lay their eggs and promptly ‘abandon’ them, especially if the weather is still warm.

In reality, the bird will just be stocking up on food and other winter resources, before they’ll eventually return to incubate and hatch their young.

How do Bluebirds survive winter?

It’s really a wonder as to how such a small, delicate creature can survive through the cold winter months. Nature has a way, though, and the bluebird has mastered the art of living through the winter.

Typically, they eat a diet of insects and grubs – these gradually disappear at the end of the summer, creating a lack of food for the little bluebird. They will switch to berries instead, which thrive in colder conditions, allowing them to maintain weight and warmth throughout the colder season.

Can Bluebirds see the color blue?

It’s commonly thought that birds are unable to see the colour blue – it’s a strange rumour, one of unknown origin, but birds (including bluebirds) can certainly see the colour blue. In fact, birds can see colours that humans can’t!

Birds are much more receptive to light, meaning that they can see a larger range of colour. They share all three colour receptions with humans – red, blue and yellow, and some people even believe that they have an additional fourth colour receptor.

What might interest you, though, is that bluebirds aren’t actually blue. Yep, you read that right! It’s actually a trick of the light; the feather structure refracts the true pigment of the feather so that it simply appears to be blue.

Can Bluebirds help to control pests?

Since bluebirds love feasting on insects and their larvae, it comes as no surprise that they can be a tremendous help when it comes to controlling pests. In fact, people with many bluebirds in their area might be secretly benefiting from some free pest control from these little guys. Bluebirds love insects of all kinds including ones that fly like moths and ground-based pests like spiders, beetles, and slugs.

While we would never recommend that you rely on bluebirds for all of your pest control needs, you will be happy to learn that they are quick to shrink the population of insects within the area. Not only do they actively hunt and exterminate them, but they can also discourage insect populations within an area, making them helpful for people who live in areas with more of a natural feel.

Can Bluebirds be kept as pets?

Bluebirds are protected by a federal law that forbids you to keep them as a pet. Bluebirds, alongside other birds, are known wild birds that must have their own space and freedom to live out comfortable and healthy lives. Since they are classified as migratory in nature, these birds are completely protected. Under no circumstances should you catch or purchase a bluebird.

What does a Bluebirds sound like?

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About Us

We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!

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