Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bluebird Trail

Devin and I have been working on making our own bluebird trail.  We had a few pair of bluebirds a few winters ago. .but haven't seen them regularly since.  Lately, I have had my inner conscience nagging me to put up a trail.  So that is what we are doing!! It's so easy because it takes one 5 foot length of a 1X6 board. Pine. .Cedar. .redwood. .Your choice!
We chose pine to start with because we happened to have a couple boards leftover in the shop.
Tristan did one of his first 4-H talks on making these bluebird houses.  And his houses went to grandmas'. I've thought several times since then about making them. .just never got around to it! They are super easy and quick to make. .we got the first three done in about 1 hour cutting and assembling them in an "assembly line" type of fashion.
Here's some facts about bluebird nesting that we found useful to know!
--Bluebirds nest in suburban and rural areas (primarily)
--They don't make their own nests and rely on old woodpecker holes or other empty cavities to nest in
--The houses should be placed at least 100 feet from wooded areas where wrens might likely be living
--Open fields and fence rows are great spots to hang nests. .in addition to large yards, golf courses, or along open highways (we are in a great locale for those guidelines!)
--Because they are territorial, they generally won't nest within 100 yards from another nest. .so your spacing should reflect that
--That being said. .sparrows also like to use bluebird houses for nesting. So we put the houses in sets of two about 15 feet apart 
--They hang great on fence posts. .and ideally should be 4-5 feet off the ground. .ours are about 4 feet high
--The entry hole should be facing either east or north as this keeps it cooler in the hot summer
--No perch needed
--The houses should be placed in February for the south and mid March in the north. .I hope we weren't too late to attract some for this year.
If you want some more information. .you can find it at bluebirds forever

Devin and I are planning on making more of these this weekend. .we sure have a lot of fence posts available for hanging houses on!!
If you are interested in the pattern. .you can find it at this Birds and Blooms website. But be careful though. .you might get hooked!! Even if you don't have a good spot to hang them in a habitat acceptable to bluebirds. .they sure are cute. .and we have had a ball making them!!


  1. Those are really nice. So much about blue birds that I didn't know. I've seen houses like that and always wondered if any birds would be attracted to a box on a post out by itself. Apparently, yes! I hope you entice some to move in soon.

  2. CUTE!! Love those bluebirds and hope you find renters for your houses soon!
    I've been seeing more and more Robins! Spring IS HERE!

  3. Ok, I have a question..I hope it doesn't sound dumb. You were saying a bluebird do bluebirds like to have nests in a row?...just like you set up your bird houses??? Is there a special kind of feed that attracts them? How do you know that blue birds will use those houses? I am very interested...I thought this was a very interesting post!

  4. Bonnie. .I don't think they necessarily like to nest in a row. .but by using something like fence posts (which we will do) you can add enough houses to attract more than one pair. For whatever reason (probably decreasing habitats that they like) bluebird populations have declined. People have started making "bluebird trails" to help them find housing and stimulate their populations. Plus. .I just think they are beautiful and cool birds. .and want as many as I can possibly attract. .they are insect feeders. .and so that is always a plus! Click on the link above called bluebirds forever. .there is alot more info on there!!

  5. Very interesting - I like the bird houses! I remember they had some at the golf course up there at Coldwater, don't know if they're still there or not.

  6. I love little blue birds. A neighbor gave me a house he made a few years back and I had blue birds right away. But then we got a dog and that was the end of that. I too was wondering about the "trails". Thanks for the info.

  7. If I was a bluebird, I'd want to move into one of those. The are nice looking homes. That's a cool project for you and your family, too.

    You had commented on a post of mine that you don't have beets planted yet. I don't remember if I let you know some beets are planted, but they haven't come up yet. The lettuce, radishes, and spinach have, and have been getting snowed on, but it hasn't gotten cold enough to kill them. I'm not sure what temperature that would be. I'm thinking it got into the upper 20s the last few nights. It's 32 right now. Brr!

    I wonder if anyone has put up bluebird houses at cemetery a block away from here. We are too urban here, for them in my neighborhood. I'm glad we have the birds we do, though. I sure have been enjoying the window feeder. There are black capped chickadees, house finches, cardinals, and sparrows that feed from it.

    I like your template, I don't remember if I told you that before.

    Where did spring go?

  8. Thanks for all the great info! Bluebirds are my favorite, and I have had one perch on my back porch a couple of times this past month. I was so shocked I just stood there with my mouth gaping open, knowing it wouldn't stay long enough for a photo. I hope you attrack lots of them!

  9. Hi Melanie, I got your name from Theresa (Gardener on Sherlock Street)... We just lost Mama Blue and the babies sometime Sat. night. TOTALLY gone and an empty nest; No signs in the nest of distress; Daddy Blue is still VERY VERY upset--as he cannot find his little family.

    The babies weren't old enough to fledge --so I don't know what happened. I have a baffle on the pole --and have never seen a snake around... We don't have wrens (other than Carolina Wrens) nor House Sparrows...

    I am devastated... Do you have any ideas or thoughts? We've had many bluebirds born in this area for several years. However, I bought a new Bluebird nest a couple of years ago --and have had a problem both years.

    My email is if you want to email me.. OR --you can read my blog today...

    Thanks so much...