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......
TIME TO THINK WINTER!
For those of you who live in areas where it gets cold in the Winter, it looks like that is finally happening. With our extended Fall this year, it has likely been easier for birds to find food. With the colder weather here, they will have a harder time. So please consider supplementing with suet, meal worms and dried fruit.
Many people believe that Bluebirds migrate and they won't see them in their yards in the Winter. This may be true in some areas, but with global warming and milder Michigan Winters, more people are reporting having Bluebirds in their yards all year. So now is a good time to start thinking about Winter in your yard and what it will mean to the Buebirds that might decide to stay there.
Hopefully you have decided whether to leave your nest boxes up thru the Winter, or have taken take them down. Or you might want to take all but a couple of them down. If you leave them up, some Bluebirds may use them for roosting during the cold Winter nights.
You can prepare nest boxes for roosting by sealing up ventilation holes and insulating the floor. You could add an inch or so of SMALL wood chips (avoid sawdust and commercially sold cedar bedding, and do not put in large wood chips that might get stuck in the hole and trap a bird inside) or a layer of soft grass, or some moss. Another insulation method would be to line the floor with silver foil (which insulates and seals), bringing it up to the front of the nest box under the entrance hole, and then add some dry grass. Or you could put in a 1/2" thick piece of styrofoam, cut to fit, on the bottom of the nest box.
You can also build or buy a nest box 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 where 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 offer meal worms during the Spring and Summer, continue to provide them during the Fall and Winter to supplement the Bluebird diet. When temperatures drop low enough that they cannot find enough insects, Bluebirds will eat suet and/or fruit. To train them to eat fruit chopped raisins or currants can be mixed with the meal worms. Some people have also had success feeding Bluebirds scrambled eggs. >
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