Same birds shown with the top of the birdbox removed. Once the hatchlings fledge, they never return inside the nest box. The adults will continue to f...
Bluebird populations in the U.S. have dropped drastically because of loss of nesting sites. You can easily help rebuild the numbers while enjoying these sweet, attractive birds that also eat bugs, in rural or suburban areas, even if you do not own land yourself. I offer detailed reference sources, but this Instructable is primarily about lessons I learned myself from decades of cultivating bluebirds, tips you will not find in books. Bluebirds tolerate human presence, and are not aggresive, so it is possible to observe their life cycle up close. They provide a great nature learning experience for children, and youth groups can participate in a community bluebird project. Photo of Eastern Bluebird is from Texas Bluebird Society web page, courtesy of Bill Horn. To see my related Instructables, click on "unclesam" just below the title above or in the INFO box to the right. On the new page that appears, repeatedly click "NEXT" to see all of them.
Step 1: Bluebird house
I lived in my rural neighborhood for over a decade and never saw a bluebird. Someone gave me a bluebird box, I installed it early Spring, and a pair of bluebirds took up residence. I have cultivated the birds ever since, learning how to get an adult pair to produce up to 3 nests and clutches of eggs, up to 15 new little birds each season. As a direct result, I now see bluebirds all around my neighborhood. Bluebirds are very particular about the size, shape, height and orientation of their nest site. Humans have destroyed the naturally-occuring ones, but you can buy or build one that the birds will use and which other birds will not prefer. The baby birds will thrive best if you take care to keep insects and predators from getting to them. A metal pole mount, rather than a tree or electric pole, will help prevent predation by climbing varmints who make their living eating eggs and small birds. The dome, sold as a squirrel guard for bird feeders, does that and also stops snakes, which can climb a smooth metal pole.