The Bluebird House
“I purchased four bluebird houses from you in early spring. After an easy setup on my property, I had renters within two weeks–three out of four nest boxes were occupied with bluebirds throughout the summer, producing multiple clutches. I highly recommend this bluebird house!” — Tom Sedenka, Lisbon, Iowa
The bluebird nest box created by the Barn Owl Box Company incorporates many of the same features that make up our highly successful Barn Owl Nest Box: the Bluebird House is made of lightweight, molded plastic that ensures ease of installation and a very long life in the field. In addition to the same robust rain guard, the Bluebird House sports a new innovation: “vent wings” that allow for efficient circulation but exclude moisture. The combination of rain guard, vent wings, and seamless molded plastic construction make for the driest, snuggest bluebird house on the market.
Very importantly, the bright interior of the box attracts bluebirds but repels their greatest enemy– house sparrows. Additional features include an internal plastic-mesh ladder below the entrance hole for adults and fledglings, and an easy access panel on the front of the box for easy inspection and cleaning. The 1 9/16″ entrance hole makes the nest box suitable for all three subspecies: the eastern, western, and mountain bluebirds. To add to the ability to control the internal environment of the Bluebird House, we include plastic plugs that can be used to close off the 12 3/8″ vent holes in the wings: these vent holes can be plugged during colder weather, or to exclude black flies from the nest box where they are prevalent.
Weighing under one pound, with interior measurements of 4.5 wide x 4.5 deep and 9″ tall, the Bluebird House is perfectly suited for attracting bluebirds throughout North America. The translucent nature of these nest boxes allows for a large amount of light to flood the interior, an excellent deterrent to occupation by house sparrows. For more information on the history of bluebird nest box construction, scroll down further on this page.
Mounting has never been easier with a bluebird nest box: the rear of the Bluebird House contains a molded channel that accepts a half-inch pipe. (PHOTO) A tube strap included with the installation hardware tightens the box securely to the pipe in one simple step. To
aid in facilitating easy installation, we also offer our Bluebird Pole, a highly efficient method of mounting the Bluebird Box. This kit made up of two 3′ pieces of half inch galvanized pipe along with a coupler is designed to allow bluebird enthusiasts to erect bluebird boxes quickly and easily. We have purposefully kept the price of this pole kit very low to encourage the easy installation of bluebird boxes.
Best Methods for Creating a Bluebird Trail
Bluebird “trails”, strings of bluebird houses stretched out for some distance, have been erected in every state. Some of these trails consist of no more than two bluebird houses, others contain hundreds stretching over a long distance. No matter, putting up even a single bluebird house in good habitat can help the populations of this beautiful, insect devouring bird.
Several factors come into play in creating the best method for installation. Bluebird nest boxes should be erected in open areas, and stand four to five feet off the ground, preferably on a metal pole to discourage climbing predators. The entrance holes should face eastward (NE, SE, or E) for thermoregulatory purposes, and away from prevailing winds. Entrance holes, if possible, should also face toward a fence, snag, shrub, or tree within 100 feet to allow the young birds a resting place when fledging.
When creating a bluebird trail, conventional wisdom is that each box should be separated by 300 feet, or about the length of a football field. Another way to measure this is about 100 long strides.
Some bluebird enthusiasts erect their nest boxes in pairs, ten to twenty feet apart. It has been demonstrated that this may increase bluebird occupation by providing the first nest box to aggressive house sparrows–which chase each other away, leaving the second nest box for bluebirds.
Monitoring bluebird nest boxes is not only fun–getting the enthusiast out in the field and amongst the bluebirds–but it is also an important part of ensuring better conservation of this bird. Bluebird trails are regularly walked by people who maintain them. The bluebird houses are checked for occupation, breeding records are kept, and invasive species such as house sparrows are evicted. Monitors of bluebird houses need to be familiar with the nests of various birds, including bluebirds, wrens, house sparrows, purple finches, and tree swallows.
A very important aspect of attracting bluebirds is their ability to reduce damage by insect pests. The Smithsonian-National Zoo article below points out the results of studies that have shown significant reductions in insect pests and the damage they cause in California vineyards. Bluebirds keep up a relentless pressure against marauding pests, feeding prodigious amounts of insects to their growing young. Using bluebirds and other birds that feed on pests helps reduce the use of poisons, lowering the amounts that cycle through the environment. They are effective not only in vineyards, but in orchards and on row crop farms.
Links Regarding Using Bluebirds for Controlling Harmful Insects