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......
Help Bluebirds Get Thru Michigan's Cold Spring
As all of you are aware, Michigan has just been thru the worst Winter in recorded history, with prolonged snow cover and significantly below-normal temperatures. Current extended forecasts show a colder than normal Spring. For Bluebirds and other native species, extreme cold and heavy snow cover are the two worst conditions they can face. Not only does it require that they consume more calories to survive, the extended cold temperatures also makes it a lot harder for them to find natural food. This time of the year they are busy deciding on a nest box and/or building a nest, so they need to be able to easily find food.
Bluebirds winter over in Michigan in fairly significant numbers – especially in the lower half of the lower Peninsula. When they winter over, their diet consists mainly of berries, some seeds, and any few over-wintering insects they can glean from plant and tree cover. But, Bluebirds are competing with other birds for the same food. Because this Winter was so harsh and the cold temperatures have continued on into Spring, many of these natural foods are running out.
You can help Bluebirds get through these difficult conditions by doing several things:
1. Put out mealworms for them to eat. Live mealworms are best, but you can try dried or dehydrated mealworms, if you soak them in water first. Put the mealworms in a plastic, metal, glass or ceramic dish where the birds can find them. Go to our Feeding Bluebirds page for a lot of tips and information on feeding Bluebirds.
2. Make a special recipe of suet and other ingredients that Bluebirds will eat in cold weather. (See our Bluebird Suet Recipe on our Feeding Bluebirds page.) This mixture can be fed in an open tray feeder.
3. Put out fruit for them in a tray feeder. Thaw out some frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, and put them in the feeder. Also try currants and raisins that have been softened by soaking in water.
4. Sometimes bluebirds will eat suet dough cakes. You can purchase these at most birdfeeding or pet food stores, and they can be put in regular suet feeders.
5. Bluebirds need water year-round. When it gets very frigid like this winter, Bluebirds have an even harder time finding unfrozen water. Putting out a heated birdbath can be a big help for them. Again, check these out at birdfeeding stores or online.
Even now that milder weather is here, remember that a lot of natural food is gone. So, Bluebirds and other wild birds will depend even more on our help. It’s a good idea to keep feeding mealworms and other supplemental food thru May in Michigan.
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