Critter Corner - Eastern
DID YOU KNOW:
Bluebird is the Missouri state bird. Many birds and feathers
play an important part as symbols in the language of
contemporary life. The Bluebird represents ‘happiness’.
bluebirds feed mainly on insects, worms, snails, berries and
fruits. They are very dependent on berries in the wintertime.
The young birds feed primarily on insects.
Bluebirds commonly nest two or three times a year, late March,
mid to late May and then again in July. The mother bird can lay
3-7 eggs consecutively. Eggs are usually pale blue but
occasionally are white and unmarked. It takes about 12-14 days
for the eggs to hatch and then 15-20 days before the baby birds
get their flight feathers. The young bird is grayish with a
Bluebird’s ideal home is an old abandoned woodpecker’s hole.
You can also find nests on posts, along roadside fence lines,
open woodlands, swamps, and also in nest boxes. Nests are built
using loose grass, weeds, twigs, pine needles, and occasionally
with hair and feathers. You can help
bluebirds by providing nesting boxes.
starlings are in competition with the bluebird for the nest.
This is why the bluebird chooses an enclosed nest box, or in a
secluded but open spot.
are related to the Robin. They are in the ‘thrush’ family of
are fine singers. They sing a musical
note of ‘chur-wi’ or
male sings and flutters its wings in front of the female and
offers her food.
bird is a striking blue color above and chestnut color
underneath, with a white belly. The female is duller. She
is grayer above with a spotted breast; similar to the young
bird, which is slightly darker.
frequently return to the identical nesting site year after
year, yet rarely is one of the young found back in the area
where it was hatched.
that people build and place bluebird nest boxes in rural
areas is the reason for the increase in size of the Eastern
Bluebird population. Keep
building those nesting boxes so we can continue to increase
the population of these beautifully colored blue songbirds
in our state.
Check out these
plans for building blue
bird nest boxes.
To learn more about
eastern blue birds
(Photo Credits: Portrait of
male and female, FNAL (Fermi Lab);
nest, US Geological Service, Photographer: C.D. Groundalh;
Bluebird with wings spread, Missouri Department of Conservation