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......
Preventing Window Strikes by Bluebirds & Other Species
Bluebird landlords (and bird lovers in general) are reminded to ensure the safety of birds coming to their backyard feeders and bird-baths. One of the easiest ways to protect birds from striking windows as they come for food and water is to carefully consider where feeders and birdbaths are placed. Either put them close to a window (one to three feet away) so that birds aren’t moving fast enough to get hurt if they do strike the window or place them 25 to 30 feet away from the window. In addition, consider removing houseplants which hang inside the windows where strikes occur.
It is also a good idea to dull or eliminate the reflection on the window’s exterior by hanging material on the outside of the window. Draping thin netting with ½” mesh and tacking it to the window frame seems to be very effective, and the mesh will still allow a good view when looking out of the window from inside. Instead of netting, you can also suspend an old window or storm door screen in front of the window.
Rather than hanging material or screens, apply a material to the window such as CollidEscape, a window film with small perforations which not only prevents bird strikes but also conserves energy within the home by reducing the infiltration of UV rays and infrared radiation.
(For additional information on CollidEscape, go to www.collidescape.org.)
Products such as those used on the windows of greenhouses can be applied to the window to make the glass appear opaque or frosted. You can also cloud the window with Brasso, fake snow, Epsom salts mixed with beer, or a light smearing of toothpaste applied with a damp sponge to leave an opaque or frosty surface on the glass. Test the application on a small section of the window to make sure the mixture isn’t abrasive to your window, and read the instructions carefully to verify the product can be used on, and easily removed from, glass.
Striping the window may deter the birds. One-inch vertical cloth strips can be applied four inches apart OR one-inch horizontal strips applied two inches apart. Strips of tape no more than 10 inches apart may also work. Vertical stripes appear to be more effective than horizontal stripes.
Here are some additional choices:
* Tape newspaper, cardboard, or wrapping paper to the outside of the window.
* Spray a light coating of vegetable oil onto the window and apply clear plastic food wrap.
* Plant shade trees outside of the window to cut down on glare.
* Consider installing awnings.
* Place commercial decals/window clings to the window, preferably two inches to four inches apart. They are more effective if applied to the outside of the window but if applied to the inside will last longer, remain cleaner, and are easier to apply. They can be purchased at some hardware stores or at Wild Birds Unlimited.
* Put up something that moves, such as feathers strung on fish line, old CDs or aluminum pie pans attached to fish line, or strips of mylar (cut from an old balloon).
With one or more of these preventive measures in place, the blue-bird landlord can enjoy watching his or her bluebirds while protecting them from window strikes.
Note: The above information is from the web site sialis.org and with permission from the author Bet Zimmerman Smith. It is presented here for educational purposes.
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