With rich blue, white and rust plumage, the eastern bluebird is one of the most beautiful backyard birds. Its melodious song and willingness to occupy birdhouses and nesting boxes also make it a favorite resident for many backyard birders.
Eastern Bluebird, Bluebird
- Bill: Thin and point, dark color
- Size: 6-8 inches long with 8-9-inch wingspan
- Colors: Bright blue, white, gray, rusty red
- Markings: Dimorphic species. Male birds have a bright blue head, wings, back and tail with a rusty red chin, throat, chest and flanks. The lower belly and undertail coverts are white and wingtips may appear darker blue or blue gray. Female birds are similar but usually appeal paler or duller, with more noticeable gray on the head and wings. A faint white eye ring may be visible on both males and females.
Insects, fruit, worms, amphibians, lizards
Habitat and Migration:
Eastern bluebirds are easily found in open fields and sparse woodland areas. They are year-round residents in the southeastern United States, and summer populations range as far north as southern Canada. These bluebirds are rare in western Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Nebraska and western Kansas.
Eastern bluebirds can be very vocal in flocks. Their calls include a rapid, mid-tone chatter and several long dropping pitch calls.
Eastern bluebirds are rarely solitary and will travel in pairs, small family groups or small flocks that grow larger in winter as groups band together near food sources. The birds often perch in low trees or shrubs while scanning for insects with their keen eyesight, or they can be found foraging on the ground for insects and seeds.
These birds are monogamous and a pair of eastern bluebirds will raise 2-3 broods annually of 2-8 eggs per brood. The female bird does most of the nest construction and tends the eggs during the 12-16 day incubation period. The young birds stay in the nest for 15-20 days after hatching.
Attracting Eastern Bluebirds:
Eastern bluebirds readily nest in appropriate birdhouses and nesting boxes, often placed in open areas. Nesting boxes should be left up year-round for roosting birds. Backyard birders can also attract these colorful birds by offering mealworms and suet in ground or platform feeders. A bird-friendly landscape with berry-producing shrubs will also attract eastern bluebirds.