Poet Henry David Thoreau must have delighted in seeing a bluebird. He wrote, “It carries the sky on its back.” The first warm days of February and March send Thoreau’s bits of sky looking for a place to nest. Eastern bluebirds once made their homes in tree cavities. But, with the scarcity of good nest spots these days, bluebirds have come to rely on nest boxes specially designed for them. A designer bluebird box has an entrance hole of precisely one and one-half inches in diameter--large enough for bluebirds but too small for most competitors and predators. A bluebird box placed by March can raise as many as three broods by summer’s end. In fourteen days, the eggs hatch and in another couple of weeks the young are ready to fly from the box.
Bluebirds are rural birds, seen in open grasslands with scattered trees or fences. Urban residents seldom see bluebirds and sometimes become concerned that they are rare.Actually, they are more abundant today, thanks partly to people who have put up bluebird nest boxes.
Next time you travel one of our country roads--keep an eye out for Missouri's state bird that carries the “sky on its back.”
Make your backyard the talk of all of the neighborhood bluebirds with your own bluebird house. Build it with a 1-by-6-inch, 5-foot-long board. Then, you're ready for the next steps:
Helping bluebirds with a place to raise their family can be a fun activity for your family. Learn more about bluebird house building.