Friday, March 30, 2012

Boxes for Bluebirds

Left: "We brought the entire family to make bluebird boxes." Right: Program participants are all ready to mount their boxes in their backyard.

Spring is here and the Eastern Bluebirds are working hard to find a cavity for the nesting season. Several local families joined us at Shawnee Prairie Preserve as we hit the Bluebird trail to learn about these attractive songbirds. The Eastern Bluebirds have a royal blue back with a warm red-brown tint on their breast. While feeding throughout the day they love to eat insects, grasshoppers, beetles, fruits, and berries. Eastern Bluebirds like several other songbirds are secondary nesters, which means they either need to find a cavity in a tree from a woodpecker or a nest box to be able to raise their young successfully, as they can’t make their own cavity. Once they find a nesting location, it is time for the female to build a very neat cup-shaped nest out of the nearby grasses and pine needles. After the nest is made, she lays one sky-blue egg each day for 3-6 days until the entire clutch is complete. Everyone who attended the program built a box to take home and now are able to view their Eastern Bluebirds in action.

If you missed this opportunity tonight, please feel free to stop in at the Nature Center and pick up your own set of plans to build your own box for your yard. A huge thanks goes out to Tom Smith, DCP volunteer, who prepared all of the kits for the Park District.

Be sure to visit our website and check out our upcoming programs at or call the Nature Center at 937.548.0165.

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