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Filed under Outdoor Notes

May 11, 2010

A male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), with its bright blue back and wings, brick-orange chest, and snow-white belly is quite an eyeful.

Eastern Bluebird, male

Once exceedingly rare, through the efforts of thousands of dedicated amateurs this cavity nester has made an extraordinary recovery in the Northeast. Wherever nest boxes are provided, there is scarcely a farmyard or church lawn without Bluebirds.

These elegant little thrushes hunt from a perch overlooking short grass or weeds, dropping down to snatch up any insect or other arthropod that catches their eye. They will raise two clutches of eggs per year, sometimes more. There are normally 3-7 eggs in a clutch.

If you decide that you want to try and attract and house Bluebirds, I recommend that you review the ample literature available on the internet. One particularly good site is Pennsylvania’s affiliate of the North American Bluebird Society .

If you decide to feed them, you can continue to feed them straight through the winter. I urge you, however, to consult Bluebird expert and all-around bonne vivante Julie Zickefoose for the proper care and feeding of overwintering Bluebirds–start here: Zick dough.

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