Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bluebird houses on a dime

In February we clean out all of the bird houses and make sure they are pretty clean.Soon the bluebirds will build a nest and lay their eggs around mid may.
*Their diet is mainly insects, most of which are yard and garden pests. In the spring they love the cutworms that ruin crops and garden plants. Later in the summer through fall they dine on huge quantities of grasshoppers and wild berries. It is said that their courtship is beautiful and amazing, but it is a rare sight to behold.
The Bluebird is very territorial, the male protecting his food supplies from other male Bluebirds trespassing. The nesting site must have sufficient food for them to raise their young and exist themselves for them to be tempted to set up housekeeping.

Only the female builds the nest in the chosen shelter, while the male accompanies her solely by singing his encouragement while she works.
Bluebird House
bluebird house

Nest building starts in mid-May in Michigan and 3 to 5 clear blue eggs are laid in the clutch. The baby birds grow alarmingly fast, ready to leave the next in 15 to 20 days after hatching. By that time they are strong enough to fly fifty to one hundred feet their first attempt at flight to the nearest perch.
By early September most Bluebirds have finished up their family responsibilities for the season. A fortunate pair will have raised two or even three broods by that time. During the fall, families of Bluebirds roam leisurely through the countryside on a quest for insects and berries in great abundance.
Over these travels, different families join together in a loose flock, as they get ready for migrating. The date of their heading south is timed more by the weather and food supply than by the calendar. They migrate in search for food and congregate in more southern parts of their regions. *
We have about 20 bluebird houses on our property and took leftover paint and painted them different colors and hung them along the fence line spreading them about 30 feet between houses.

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