Lakeside Nature Center
Critter Corner - Eastern
DID YOU KNOW:
The Eastern 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’.
Adult 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.
Eastern 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 speckled breast.
The Eastern 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.
Sparrows and 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.
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); Photo of nest, US Geological Service, Photographer: C.D. Groundalh; Bluebird with wings spread, Missouri Department of Conservation )