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......
IS YOUR YARD READY FOR WINTER?
Hopefully your Bluebirds had many babies successfully fledge this year! If you haven't already done so, be sure to download our 2015 Nesting Season Summary Report form and fill it out. Return it to the Michigan Bluebird Society, so we can include your Bluebirds in our statistics for 2015. Here is a link to the form: 2015 Nesting Season Summary Report Form.
As the weather gets colder, you need to decide whether you are going to leave your boxes up for roosting boxes this Winter, or take them down. If you do decide to leave them up, they may be used by birds as a place to get shelter on cold winter nights. Once nesting season is over, Bluebirds are no longer territorial. They will often roost in groups of as few as several birds to several dozen. They will actually pile on top of each other for warmth. So when it is very cold or stormy, they will look for a place to keep warm. You can temporarily "winterize" your nesting boxes by plugging up the ventilation openings with weather stripping. This helps keep the box warmer in the Winter. If there is an adequate food supply in your yard, Bluebirds will spend the Winter there. They will readily eat wild berries. If all of the berries in your yard are coated with ice, there are alternatives. In addition to meal worms, they will also eat suet, sunflower hearts, softened fruit, cornmeal muffins and even scrambled eggs.
If you choose not to use your nest boxes for roosting, you can buy boxes made for winter roosting. Typically, this box is larger with an opening near the bottom, rather than the top of the box. Then, inside the box, there are staggered perches which birds can sit on all night. The top of the box has no ventilation openings, so it will stay much warmer inside. Because warm air rises, the box will stay warm even longer.
If you take the boxes down, it is a good time to clean them well and make any needed repairs, so they will be all ready to put up early in the Spring, when you expect Bluebirds in your area.
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