Eastern Bluebird

The bluebird is one of a birdwatcher's favorite birds. This male blue beauty can be spotted in open fields showing off its dark blue head and wings with a bright rusty breast and white belly. Look along fencerows of farmland or orchards for the female. She has dull blue wings and a light colored rusty breast, with a grayish head. This bird is smaller than a robin measuring around 7 inches. You'll surely enjoy its short warble, "Chur-li," when you hear it sing.

Across their nesting range, the Midwest and far northeastern states, the bluebird has had trouble reproducing because alien invader birds like the house sparrow and starling take over their nesting places. These alien birds became more abundant as people developed farmland and open fields. Invaders thrived in this new habitat and out-competed the bluebird, making their population numbers drop. Today, bluebirds have multiplied and bounced back thanks to the help of volunteer bluebird groups and homeowners who put up and care for nesting boxes. You can build a bluebird nest box and help this species if you live in an open area or have a garden near farmland or fields. Bluebird house plans are available from books and other publications like these:

  • Woodworking for Wildlife, by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
  • Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds by George H. Harrison.