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Bluebirds 2013

Bluebirds are found throughout North America including the Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds. All bluebirds are cavity nesters and will use an artificial nest box. Habitat and nest cavities had been disappearing for many years, but bluebirds have made an incredible come back due to thousands of bluebird nest boxes being installed across the country.
Easten Bluebird at Nesting HollowAccording to the statistics from the Breeding Bird Survey, survey-wide estimates of the Eastern Bluebird population show an increase of 2.4% per year for each year since 1966. The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Counts from 1980 to 2004 also show a three-fold increase in population.
Nesting occurs from March through August. Only the female incubates the 4-6 eggs which she maintains at a temperature of 98 to 100ºF.
Bluebirds are generally monogamous, staying together throughout the breeding season, and may breed together for more than one season. However, some birds may switch mates during a breeding season to raise a second brood.
Bluebirds may raise two and sometimes three broods per season. Pairs may build their second nests on top of the first nest, or they may nest in an entirely new site. The male continues to take care of the recently fledged young while the female begins to re-nest. Young of the first brood will occasionally help raise their siblings in the second brood.
Both sexes defend territories; however, the males tend to defend territory edges while the females primarily defend the nest site.
Males may carry nest material to the nest, but they do not participate in the actual building. They spend much time guarding their mates during this time to prevent them from mating with other males.
Families flock together until fall, when they merge with other family flocks. Some, but not all, bluebirds residing in the northern portions of the range migrate to southern latitudes, but those residing in southern latitudes tend to be residential.
Adult Bluebirds tend to return to the same breeding territory year after year, but only a small percentage (three to five percent) of young birds return to where they hatched.
Bluebirds love mealworms and can be drawn in with a small dish filled with mealworms.
Bluebirds are typically seen as a symbol for happiness. “Mr. Bluebird’s on my shoulder!”
It is likely that up to 70% of all Bluebirds die before reaching their first birthday. Most adult Bluebirds live for only a few years, while a small number live up to four or five years. The oldest recorded Eastern Bluebird was ten years old, with the oldest Western and Mountain Bluebird being recorded at approximately six years old.
A bluebird can spot caterpillars and insects in tall grass at the remarkable distance of over 50 yards.
Bluebird females of all species have duller plumage than males; this may reduce their visibility to predators.
Bluebirds have no blue pigments in their feathers. Instead, each feather barb has a thin layer of cells that absorb all wavelengths of color except blue. Only the blue wavelength is reflected and scattered, resulting in their blue appearance to our eyes.
Eastern Bluebird numbers declined throughout the late 1800s and much of the twentieth century, suffering an almost 90% decline in population. Their numbers began to stabilized during the 1960’s and have slowly increased ever since. Among other reasons, competition for nesting space from the introduced House Sparrow and European Starling contributed to this century-long decline.
Unlike other Bluebirds, Mountain bluebirds are able hover above the ground while searching for insects. This enables them to live in areas with few trees or shrubs, while Eastern and Western Bluebird need trees to provide the elevated perches from which they hunt.
Bluebirds rarely winter in areas where night-time temperatures routinely fall below 20º F.
Late winter and early spring cold fronts can be very dangerous for Bluebirds due to the depletion of natural fruit supplies and the lack of insects.
Eastern Bluebirds will occasionally breed with Mountain Bluebirds and successfully raise young.
Bluebirds consume about 4 grams of food per day, or about 12% of their body weight. This is equivalent to a two hundred pound human eating 24 pounds of food each day.
Eastern and Western Bluebirds sit on an elevated perch while searching for insects; when one is spotted, they drop to the ground to capture it with their bill. This sit-and-wait technique is called drop-hunting.
Like many other birds, Bluebirds make a high volume shriek when captured by predators. It is thought that these screams are used to attract other predators, which in turn will then distract the original predator long enough for the Bluebird to escape.
As the days grow longer in the spring, a male bluebird’s brain releases hormones that stimulate the production of testosterone, which in turn stimulates the area of the brain responsible for singing behavior, thus triggering the male to begin its mating song.
Unpaired male Bluebirds may sing up to 1,000 songs per hour, but average a more reasonable rate of four to five hundred songs per hour.
Bluebirds can fly at speeds up to 45 miles per hour if necessary.
Bluebirds raise their young in old or pre-existing nesting cavities and have a nesting success rate of about 60%. In contrast, birds that construct a new nesting cavity each year (such as woodpeckers) have a success rate of up to 85%. Predators are less likely to find a new nesting cavity than one that has been in existence for a few years.
Northern Flickers and Hairy, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers all produce nesting cavities suitable for later use by Bluebirds.
When choosing natural nesting cavities, studies have shown that Eastern Bluebirds select abandoned woodpecker nests at least 75% of the time.
Eastern Bluebirds actually appear duller after molting in the late summer than at any other time of the year. Their new body feathers have dull brownish tips that wear off during the winter, leaving them bright and colorful for the next breeding season.
The first Bluebird Nesting Box Trail was established in Adams County, Illinois in 1934, by T.E. Musselman.

These two have brought more joy watching them over 40 hrs. now, They get to know you... I give them a treat of fresh made pure peanut butter with raw natural sunflower seed... they are in second heaven... They get to be very trusting...
When they are ready to fly, that's the last you see of them. There one day and gone the next. Would have been nice to see the young ones on their way.. That all happened in two days..
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_SDP5501pb.jpg  My Kind Of Food
_SDP5501pb.jpg "My Kind Of Food"
_DSC5128pb.jpg No time is a waisting...
_DSC5128pb.jpg "No time is a waisting..."
_DSC5164pb.jpg Waiting For The Young
_DSC5164pb.jpg "Waiting For The Young"
_DSC4991 copy.jpg  Focal Point
_DSC4991 copy.jpg "Focal Point
_DSC5034pb.jpg  Looking Straight On
_DSC5034pb.jpg "Looking Straight On"
_DSC5063pb.jpg Never Ending When You Are A Single Male Parent
_DSC5063pb.jpg "Never Ending When You Are A Single Male Parent"
_DSC5027pb.jpg  Taking a Break
_DSC5027pb.jpg "Taking a Break"
_SDP5363pb.jpg  Hardy Pletz
_SDP5363pb.jpg " Hardy Pletz"
_SDP5365pb.jpg'A Real Treat. Baby Bluebirds
_SDP5365pb.jpg'A Real Treat." Baby Bluebirds
_DSC5119pb.jpg Fly In Dinner
_DSC5119pb.jpg Fly In Dinner
_DSC4883pb.jpg The Beautiful Male Mountain Bluebird
_DSC4883pb.jpg "The Beautiful Male Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC4757.jpg The Male Mountain Bluebird 2
_DSC4757.jpg "The Male Mountain Bluebird" 2
_DSC4704.jpg THe Beautiful Mountain Bluebird
_DSC4704.jpg "THe Beautiful Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC4602pb.jpg Walking the Plank
_DSC4602pb.jpg "Walking the Plank"
_DSC4531pb.jpg In The Willows
_DSC4531pb.jpg "In The Willows"
_DSC4426pb.jpg Take Me Home
_DSC4426pb.jpg "Take Me Home"
_SDP5356pb.jpg Something New
_SDP5356pb.jpg "Something New"
_DSC9706pb.jpg Three Camera Shot
_DSC9706pb.jpg "Three Camera Shot"
_DSC4084pb.jpg  Mountain Bluebird
_DSC4084pb.jpg "Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC4143pb.jpg  She Looks Happy
_DSC4143pb.jpg "She Looks Happy"
_DSC4139pb.jpg Nice to see but don't touch
_DSC4139pb.jpg "Nice to see but don't touch"
_DSC4317pb.jpg The Last Jump
_DSC4317pb.jpg "The Last Jump"
_DSC4284pb.jpg Lazy Day time to watch the Birdlife
_DSC4284pb.jpg "Lazy Day" time to watch the Birdlife
_DSC3977pb.jpgFavorite Post by Choice
_DSC3977pb.jpg"Favorite Post by Choice"
_SDP5313pb.jpgReady To Go IN..
_SDP5313pb.jpg"Ready To Go IN..
_SDP5201pb.jpg For Real Shot
_SDP5201pb.jpg "For Real Shot"
_DSC4031pb.jpg  Just Checking the Exposure
_DSC4031pb.jpg "Just Checking the Exposure"
_DSC3983pb.jpg  Didn't even Smile
_DSC3983pb.jpg "Didn't even Smile"
_SDP5316pb.jpg Ghosting on the Wings
_SDP5316pb.jpg Ghosting on the Wings
_SDP5221pb.jpg Real or not Real Image....
_SDP5221pb.jpg "Real or not Real Image"....
_DSC3905pb.jpg lot's of shots of this Moutain Bluebird
_DSC3905pb.jpg "lot's of shots of this Moutain Bluebird"
_DSC3891pb.jpg The Female Mountain Bluebird
_DSC3891pb.jpg "The Female Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC3809pb.jpg  the Male Mountain Bluebird
_DSC3809pb.jpg "the Male Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC3770pb.jpg The More Time The Female Bluebird
_DSC3770pb.jpg "The More Time" The Female Bluebird
_DSC3832pb.jpg Easy Landing
_DSC3832pb.jpg "Easy Landing"
_DSC3789pb.jpg Female in Flight
_DSC3789pb.jpg "Female in Flight"
_DSC3906pb.jpgTheir Favorite Post
_DSC3906pb.jpg"Their Favorite Post"
_DSC3898pb.jpg Looking for Bugs
_DSC3898pb.jpg "Looking for Bugs"
_DSC9590pb.jpg  Looking Back
_DSC9590pb.jpg "Looking Back"
_DSC9414pb.jpg One Juicy Mealworm
_DSC9414pb.jpg "One Juicy Mealworm"
_DSC9403pb.jpg Dad Is Sitting By
_DSC9403pb.jpg "Dad Is Sitting By"
_DSC9395pb.jpg The Young Are Hungry
_DSC9395pb.jpg "The Young Are Hungry"
_DSC9464pb.jpg  Up And Close For A Photo
_DSC9464pb.jpg "Up And Close For A Photo"
_DSC3681pb.jpg  Male Bluebird
_DSC3681pb.jpg "Male Bluebird"
_DSC3625pb.jpg Everybody Wants to be in Pictures
_DSC3625pb.jpg "Everybody Wants to be in Pictures"
_DSC3303pb.jpg Post Landing
_DSC3303pb.jpg "Post Landing"
_DSC3335pb.jpg Lucky To Get Two In One Shot
_DSC3335pb.jpg "Lucky To Get Two In One Shot
_DSC3287pb.jpg  'life must be good.'
_DSC3287pb.jpg 'life must be good.'
_DSC2727pb.jpgthose Young One
_DSC2727pb.jpg"those Young One"
_DSC2777pb.jpg  The Bullet
_DSC2777pb.jpg "The Bullet"
_DSC2950pb.jpg  Female Bluebird In Flight
_DSC2950pb.jpg Female Bluebird In Flight
_DSC3027pb.jpgBlue and Green...not sure about that....
_DSC3027pb.jpg"Blue and Green...not sure about that....
_DSC3020pb.jpg 'Happy Meal For Two
_DSC3020pb.jpg 'Happy Meal For Two"
_SDP4376pb.jpg   White Cliffs of Dover
_SDP4376pb.jpg "White Cliffs of Dover"
_SDP4352pb.jpg  God Loves The Birds
_SDP4352pb.jpg "God Loves The Birds"
_DSC2583pb.jpg Another Second
_DSC2583pb.jpg "Another Second"
_DSC2423pb.jpg Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird
_DSC2423pb.jpg "Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird"
_DSC2453pb.jpg  So Many Shades Of Blue
_DSC2453pb.jpg "So Many Shades Of Blue"
_DSC2495.jpg The Female Mountain Bluebird
_DSC2495.jpg "The Female Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC2505pb.jpg Nest Box
_DSC2505pb.jpg "Nest Box"
_DSC2517pb.jpg  In Flight
_DSC2517pb.jpg "In Flight"
_DSC2565pb.jpg  'One Of Gods Best Creations
_DSC2565pb.jpg 'One Of Gods Best Creations"
_DSC2579pb.jpg  Just Love The Blues
_DSC2579pb.jpg "Just Love The Blues"
_DSC2562apb.jpg Before The Rain
_DSC2562apb.jpg "Before The Rain"
_DSC2473pb.jpg Female in Flight
_DSC2473pb.jpg "Female in Flight"
_DSC2465pb.jpg His & Hers
_DSC2465pb.jpg "His & Hers"
_DSC2458pb.jpg  The Female Mountain Bluebird
_DSC2458pb.jpg "The Female Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC2442pb.jpg  Fifteen Minutes To Gather Food
_DSC2442pb.jpg "Fifteen Minutes To Gather Food"
_DSC2433pb.jpg  Juicy Mealworms
_DSC2433pb.jpg "Juicy Mealworms"
_DSC2634pb.jpg  No Worries In THe World
_DSC2634pb.jpg "No Worries In THe World"
_DSC2355pb.jpg THE Beautiful Bluebird
_DSC2355pb.jpg "THE Beautiful Bluebird"
_DSC2449pb.jpg  Love, Hope, Happiness
_DSC2449pb.jpg "Love, Hope, Happiness"
_DSC2468pb.jpg  Food looks like a dragon fly...
_DSC2468pb.jpg " Food looks like a dragon fly..."
_DSC2652pb.jpg Probably Want To Take Him Home
_DSC2652pb.jpg "Probably Want To Take Him Home"
_SDP4435pb.jpg  More Food
_SDP4435pb.jpg "More Food"
_SDP4327.jpg Straighing the Feathers
_SDP4327.jpg "Straighing the Feathers"
_SDP4307pb.jpg On the Way Out
_SDP4307pb.jpg "On the Way Out"
_DSC2276pb.jpg Ready to go to the nest
_DSC2276pb.jpg "Ready to go to the nest"
_SDP4224pb.jpg Female Bluebird at the nest.
_SDP4224pb.jpg "Female Bluebird at the nest."
_SDP4337.jpg  Someone is Coming
_SDP4337.jpg "Someone is Coming"
_SDP4461pb.jpg Male Fly By
_SDP4461pb.jpg "Male Fly By"
_SDP4364pb.jpg Hunting For Insects
_SDP4364pb.jpg "Hunting For Insects"
_SDP4355pb.jpg Fast Flyiers
_SDP4355pb.jpg "Fast Flyiers"
_SDP4335.jpg Sitting no place to go
_SDP4335.jpg "Sitting no place to go"
_SDP4227pb.jpg Trying to get that Perfect Shot... lots more tries needed...
_SDP4227pb.jpg "Trying to get that Perfect Shot..." lots more tries needed...
_SDP4430pb.jpg Female leaving the nest..
_SDP4430pb.jpg "Female leaving the nest..
_SDP4460pb.jpg A male just about to leave the nest...
_SDP4460pb.jpg "A male just about to leave the nest..."
_SDP4325pb.jpg Just after a major rain
_SDP4325pb.jpg "Just after a major rain"
_SDP4365pb.jpg Not sure where they are finding all this food... would make good fishing  bair..
_SDP4365pb.jpg "Not sure where they are finding all this food... would make good fishing bair.."
_SDP4243pb.jpg  Touchdown
_SDP4243pb.jpg "Touchdown"
_SDP4232pb.jpg Those young ones sure eat a lot of food...
_SDP4232pb.jpg "Those young ones sure eat a lot of food...
_DSC2296pb.jpg  Coming In
_DSC2296pb.jpg "Coming In"
_DSC2292pb.jpg Leaving The Nest rain or shine
_DSC2292pb.jpg "Leaving The Nest" rain or shine
_DSC2297pb.jpg Another Landing
_DSC2297pb.jpg "Another Landing"
_DSC1807pb.jpg Mountain Bluebird
_DSC1807pb.jpg "Mountain Bluebird"
_DSC2312pb.jpg  Nice Larva for Lunch
_DSC2312pb.jpg "Nice Larva for Lunch"
_DSC2290pb.jpg One Inch tp go
_DSC2290pb.jpg "One Inch tp go"
_DSC2349pb.jpg  The Female Bluebird
_DSC2349pb.jpg "The Female Bluebird"
_DSC1805pb.jpg Mountain Bluebird two
_DSC1805pb.jpg Mountain Bluebird two
_DSC2157pb.jpgMale Blue Bird
_DSC2157pb.jpg"Male Blue Bird"
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