WELCOME TO THE MICHIGAN BLUEBIRD SOCIETY!
Male bluebird feeding a female bluebird - photo courtesy of Dave Kinneer
The Michigan Bluebird Society is a group of individuals dedicated to helping bluebirds and other native cavity nesting bird species in the state of Michigan. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an affiliate of the North American Bluebird Society.
Why There is a Need to Help Bluebirds and What You Can Do
Because of habitat loss, environmental pollution, and competition of non-native bird species (House Sparrows and European Starlings), bluebirds have suffered large declines compared to their original numbers. However, bluebirds have been shown to thrive in areas where there is human-provided housing that is actively monitored. As a result, through the efforts of many people, bluebirds have increased in numbers in the last 10 years. Putting up a nest box is the easiest and most important thing you can do. Not only are you helping bluebirds to populate, but watching a pair of adults build a nest, lay eggs, and feed their young is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you will ever experience. Just ask any bluebird landlord - you'll be hooked and changed forever!
The Michigan Bluebird Society is an affiliate of the North American Bluebird Society.
Video: Learn How To Become A Bluebird Landlord in 8 Minutes
Michigan Bluebird News......
WINTER BLUEBIRD ACTIVITIES
Winter is upon us and although you may not see Bulebirds daily, there are things you can be doing for them.
Current forcasts for the rest of the Winter are for extreme cold and heavy snowfalls. Unfortunately for Bluebirds (and other native species), those are the two worst conditions they can face. Not only do they need to consume more calories just to survive, the snow makes it much harder for them to find their natural food, which is concentrated close to the ground.
Bluebirds do overwinter in Michigan in fairly significant numbers - especially in the lower half of the Lower Peninsula. When they do overwinter, their diet consists mainly of berries, some seeds and what few overwintering insects they can find in plant and tree cover. But they are competing with other birds for that same food. During a harsh Winter that food can run out long before Spring arrives.
You can help Bluebirds get thru these difficult conditions by doing several things.
1. Put out mealworms for them to eat. Live mealworms are best, but you can try dried or dehydrated mealworms if you soak them in water first. Put the mealworms in a plastic, metal, glass, or ceramic dish where the birds can find them. Go to our Feeding Bluebirds page for tips and information on feeding Bluebirds.
2. Make a special recipe of suet and other ingredients that bluebirds will eat in cold weather. (See our Feeding Bluebirds page for the recipe). You can feed this mixture in an open tray feeder.
3. Put out fruit for them in a tray feeder. Thaw out some frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, and put them in the feeder. Also try currants and raisins that have been softened by soaking in water.
4. Sometimes bluebirds will eat suet dough cakes. You can purchase these at most birdfeeding or pet food stores, and they can be put in regular suet feeders.
5. Bluebirds need water year-round. When it gets very frigid like this winter, bluebirds have an even harder time finding unfrozen water. Eating snow for water uses up calories. Putting out a heated birdbath can be a big help for them. Again, check these out at birdfeeding stores or online.
Even when the snow melts and milder weather gets here, remember that a lot of natural food will be gone. So, Bluebirds and other wild birds will depend even more on our help. It’s a good idea to keep feeding mealworms and other supplemental food thru May in Michigan.
Note: The above information contains excerpts from sialis.org/fall.htm. See the site for more information.
Please don't hesitate to contact MBS with any questions or problems you might have. We are available to assist you in your bluebirding efforts. To find a County Coordinator near you or for a general contact at the MBS, please go to Contact Us.
Your friends at the Michigan Bluebird Society