The Bluebird House
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. (See 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 House. 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.
Installing the Bluebird House using the Bluebird House Pole is quite simple. The coupling is screwed on to the lower pipe; then the lower pipe is driven approximately 18 to 24 inches into the ground. The upper pipe is then screwed into the coupling and slides into the molded channel in the rear of the Bluebird House where it is fastened with a tube strap.
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 bluebirds a resting place when fledging.
When creating a bluebird trail, conventional wisdom is that each bluebird 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 valuable 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.
Using Bluebirds for Pest Control
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. The key is to install enough bluebird houses on the property that numbers of bluebirds increase to the point where the insects are being harvested in large numbers.
Links Regarding Using Bluebirds for Controlling Harmful Insects