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!
Bluebirds in most areas of Michigan have decided on a nesting site and many have their first brood. So you should be checking your boxes on a regular basis to see if any nests have been started, eggs have been laid and/or babeis are safe.
Be sure to keep close track of who and what is in your nest boxes. Sparrows will also be looking for nesting sites and may be filling boxes with "stuff" just to reserve them. It is very easy to distinguish a Bluebird nest from a sparrow nest. The Bluebird nest will be a neat, tightly woven nest with a small cup near the center. A sparrow nest is just a pile of most anything they pick up and carry in. It can contain lots of grass and weeds, but might also contain twist ties, rubber bands, pieces of plastic bags or most anything else lying in your yard. Remember that House Sparrows are not a protected species and it is all right for you to destroy their nests. Sparrows must be controlled in the habitat near your nest boxes to insure the success of the Bluebirds. For more infomration on controlling House Sparrows, see our Problem Solving page.
Also remember that just becuase you looked in a box last week and there was a Bluebird nest in the box, that does not mean a sparrow will not take over that box. Sparrows do not care who has claimed a box, or even that there are eggs in a nest. They will destroy the eggs and remove them from the nest. They will even kill babies. So be very proactive about watching who and what is in your boxes.
Remember that Tree Swallows, Black Capped Chickadees, House Wrens and the Tufted Titmouse might also be building nests in your boxes. Make sure you know what type of nest is in the box before you destroy it. You do not want to destroy the nest of any protected specie. For help identifying nests see the nest identification page at Sialis.org.
Even though the weather is warmer and there are more bugs available, it is still good to keep a supply of meal worms on hand to offer the Bluebirds. This will help supplement their diet and maybe even encourage them to stay in your yard. And if they already have babies to feed, it will make life a little easier on them. Just part of being a good Bluebird landlord!
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