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......
NESTING SEASON IS HERE!
This nesting season has gotten off to a slow start with our wet, cold weather. In many areas of Michigan Bluebirds already have their first broods to take care of. And in some areas Bluebirds are just beginning to look for boxes for their first brood. Remember even though it is sunny some days and they seem to be catching bugs, the Bluebirds do still need some help from us. So please consider supplementing with suet, softened dried fruit, hulled sunflower seeds, small peanut kernels, small pieces of fruit, scrambled eggs and of course, meal worms. During times like this, they really need our help. For those who would like to try it, we have a Bluebird Suet recipe on our Feeding Bluebirds page, which many people use and say their Bluebirds really like. Go to http://michiganbluebirds.org/feeding-bluebirds and scroll about half way down the page and you will see it.
You will also see the pesky sparrows claiming boxes and they have already started nests and are filling up boxes just to claim them. Remember that sparrows are not protected. You can keep cleaning their nests out of boxes to discourage them. Or if you want to keep them busy for a while, let them have a couple of boxes. When they lay their eggs, take a fine needle and poke a small hole in each egg. The eggs will never hatch. So it keeps them busy for a while and away from the Bluebirds.
Sometimes if you clean their nests out of the boxes enough times, they will just give up and move on. Or you can put a sparrow trap on the box and trap and kill them. If you do decide to try a trap, keep a close eye on the box. As soon as you see that the trap has been tripped, check carefully to see what you have caught. Hopefully it will be a sparrow and you can kill it. Once in a while you might catch a Bluebird. You want to be able to release him/her as soon as you can, because they become very frightened when trapped in the box.
And keep in mind that Bluebirds are attracted to water. If you do not have a bird bath out during the Winter, you might want to put one out now. Adding one to your yard might just attract some Bluebirds this Spring. And they could decide that your yard would be a good place to spend the Summer!
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