Bluebirds nesting early in 2012


The Bluebirds are nesting early in 2012. Here you see one at my nut feeder. There are 4 in all that have been visiting my feeders for the past two weeks. Our Bluebird box is receiving a good deal of activity. This is early for them to start nesting but we’ve had a very mild winter. It’s in the 50’s today. I’m glad they are nesting early because it will give them a chance to get good and established before the wrens start their search for a home.

If our weather holds mild, we could see up to three nestings. Usually they lay 4 to 6 powdery blue eggs. Incubation last about 14 days. After hatching, they are in the nest about 16-22 days.

Everybody in the family feeds the babies. The parents keep the nest very clean. Mom will eat the shells after the babies hatch. They are certainly enjoying the peanuts we put out. They will eat bugs and nuts.

On the day that the last baby leaves the nest, remove the nest and clean the box with a solution of 1 part clorox to 10 parts water. Sometimes momma Bluebird will start her second nesting that very same day. You must hurry to clean the box between nestings. Discard the old nest far away from the current one in order not to attract predators.

It really is magical to see them visit and this year we seem to have a lot more.

In our area of North Carolina, Bluebirds do not migrate. If you feed them mealworms, they are most likely to stay in your area over the winter. Each year after the last nesting period they will just hang around and enjoy each others company. During nesting time they are fierce competitors.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Joe Harvey says:

    The last week in January I went to see my dying uncle. After a night of storms, I went out into the sunshine to see the aftermath. There, in his yellow-stained bluebird house, a bluebird was dipping its head in and out, probably helping his mate while she nested, a little early for north Alabama. Returning to my uncle, we talked about the observation, and I could see he enjoyed thinking about the nature outside that he cherished. I left soon afterward. He passed away the next day.


    1. Mary Joe…that’s a thoughtful story and one that makes you treasure every moment. I’m glad you got to experience it.


  2. Becca Dutill says:

    There is hardly anything sweeter than a family of bluebirds on your property!
    As for Robins heralding Spring… in southwest Florida on the coast, we have Robins migrate through as they head back up north for Spring. They stay a week…..chasing lizards across my lawn and eating berries off my neighbors ugly tree! As of yet, they have not put in an appearance.
    Florida hugs & smiles,


  3. Melissa says:

    Wow! I would love to have a bluebird house and feeder in my yard now that I have read this. Thinking about where to put the feeder… if I want to be able to see it easily it needs to be hanging off of our deck. Will that work for them? What about other birds trying to get to the nuts? Is that a problem? Hmmm… my wheels are turning…

    Thanks Anna!!


    1. Melissa–it usually needs to be in an open area. It’s not that they wouldn’t nest on the porch but that other birds would be more likely to occupy it and chase off the bluebirds. The other birds aren’t as likely to nest in an open area. We have ours on a pole and have added a bell shaped thing on the pole so predators can’t climb it. I do have to remove other bird’s nest that might want to take over the house. If you follow the link in this posts about the eggs–you’ll see a lot of info on bluebirds. Much more info than I have provided. I hope you get a box–they are loads of fun to watch. All the birds feed together and so yes we go through a lot of peanuts. I go and chase off the blackbirds which are here for a few months before they travel on southwards.


  4. Pearl says:

    Wow…I can’t imagine bluebirds nesting that early. We have bluebirds year round here in Ohio but they don’t nest until about May. I’m slowing getting bluebirds to nest in my boxes but it’s usually a battle having to deal with the English sparrows.


    1. Pearl…I’ve seen 4 and one has taken up house in the house. Last year they mated and nested in late March which isn’t too unbelievable in this area. I agree it’s early. We do have to fight other birds who want to take it over. We have to watch daily and remove any unwanted nests. If eggs are in there–we don’t move it of course–but I can usually catch it before then.


  5. Caroline Watson says:

    I love the Bluebirds, I live in DE and never see any, how I miss them. In NC coastline we had several all year around. Don’t understand it Caroline


    1. Caroline, they like open fields so they can catch bugs. I don’t know about their territory in DE. I’d have to look that up. They are so beautiful and the other birds don’t mind feeding with them at the same time.


  6. Libby says:

    Well, that answers my question: I thought…. I had seen a bluebird yesterday morning! So they winter over in N.C.?
    I’m also sure I heard a robin : couldn’t find him around me, but I’m sure he was there. So spring is really coming!!!


    1. Yes Libby–they do stay here during the winter. They won’t mate till the end of February or March–but they are starting to get active and checking out boxes. The male picks the home and then persuades the female to move in. I’ve seen a robin too. I’m afraid to believe NC is going to stay warm as March can be our coldest month.


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