Bluebird FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most common bluebird questions

Q. Are bluebirds indigenous to Bermuda?
A. Yes
Q. When is nesting season?
A. March through July
Q. How many nestings can I get per season?
A. Up to three
Q. How many eggs do you get per nesting?
A. Five, four and three
Q. How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?
A. 13-14 days
Q. How long does it take for the chicks to fledge?
A. 15-20 days
Q. How many nest-boxes should I erect?
A. As many as possible!
Q. Where should I erect my box?
A. 1. In an open grassy area 2. Near a solid tree, fence line or wires where the bluebirds can perch to look for food and watch the entrance hole.
Q. Can I nail my nest-box to a tree?
A. Only if you are certain that there are no cats or rats in the vicinity
Q. What's the best mounting?
A. Galvanised or PVC pole
Q. What's the best height to mount my box at?
A. Eye level or lower if no cats
Q. Should I put out any bread crumbs or seed?
A. NEVER! Bluebirds only eat live insects and grub. Crumbs and seeds only attract the enemies!
Q. Who are the bluebirds' natural enemies?
A. 1. Sparrows 2. Cats 3. Rats 4. Kiskadees 5. Starlings 6. Lizards
Q. Who are Bluebird friends?
A. 1. People who build, erect and monitor nest-boxes 2. People who erect and monitor Bluebird Trails
Q. What is a Bluebird Trail?
A. Ten or more nest-boxes erected and monitored by friends
Q. Why do we monitor a nest-box?
A. 1. To remove the old bluebird nest after the chicks fledge 2. To remove any sparrows nests! 3. To tackle any other problems
Q. Why are sparrows a threat?
A. They kill the bluebirds they find in nest-boxes
Q. But isnt that Mother Natures way?
A. No. Mother Nature did not intend for sparrows to be here A Bermudian brought them here by ship in 1870.
Q. Are starlings and kisskadees a threat?
A. Yes, but theyre too big to squeeze through the entry hole
Q. How big is the Entry Hole?
A. One and a half inches diameter
Q. What are other problems?
A. 1. Red Mites 2. Vandalism 3. Pesticides
Q. What do I do if I find a chronic red mite infestation in my bluebird's nest?
A. Remove old nest. Put chicks in small dark box. Clean out box. Place chicks in a new nest (made from dead casuarinas needles) and return to box.
One can put a teaspoon of Diatomaceous Earth under the nest to kill mites (becarefull not to inhale the powder) or put a pinch of cigar tobacco under the nest.
Q. Is it alright to handle chicks?
A. In an emergency, yes.
Q. How can I make a replacement nest?
A. Use natural materials like dead Casuarina needles.
Q. What colour are bluebird eggs?
A. Light blue.
Q. What does a bluebird nest look like?
A. Clean and tidy cup-shaped nest made of grass or casuarinas needles
Q. What colour are sparrow eggs?
A. White, brown or grey with speckles.
Q. What does a sparrow nest look like?
A. Untidy nest made of grass and pieces of trash, with feathers almost completely surrounding the nest
Q. Eggs or chicks are missing?
A. You have a sparrow, rat or lizard problem.
Q. How do I stop rats and lizards climbing the pole?
A. Grease (heavy grease) an area 6 inches high all the way around the pole.
Q. How to avoid vandalism?
A. Locate box away from beaten track. Camouflage. Also, keep out of reach of children.
Q. Whens the best time to spray pesticides so they dont harm bluebirds?
A. NEVER! But if you must, then at dusk.
Q. Any other tips?
A. 1. Paint box a pastel shade, a light colour with latex paint. 2. If it is used in very hot weather, cool box periodically by wetting with cold water. 3. Keep cats well fed and indoors during nesting. 4. Monitor vigilantly!
Q. Where can we buy a bluebird box?
A. Aquarium, National Trust, Godet & Young and Abberfeldy
Q. What does one do after the birds fledge?
A. Dicsard the old nest and wash the box out with boiling water.
Q. Why do we love bluebirds?
A. Because they are very beautiful and bring good luck!
"Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature, if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you, know that the morning and spring of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse." - Thoreau