Time to build for bluebirds

mentioned Hans Mueller in a recent column and recalled that he was once a purple martin landlord and maintained several martin houses at his Wimberley home.  Hans has moved to Sun City and he was kind enough to let me know he now maintains a bluebird box and is out of the martin business.

However, his bluebird box has had a nesting pair for the past three years.  Good for Hans.

And if you want to attract bluebirds, be aware they will nest in man-made houses and are most plentiful in our area March through August.  So this would be a good time to get a nest box ready.  That box should have an entrance hole of one and one-half inches in diameter and should be from five to ten feet off the ground, ideally on a PCV post that raccoons can not climb.

Bluebirds live up to five years and the oldest recorded lived to be 10 years old.  However, most die before reaching one year.  Life is cruel like that.

Bluebirds are known as a symbol of happiness, hence the song lyrics:  “Mr. bluebird’s on my shoulder.”  They are also known for their distinctive song, which has been described as “chur-lee, chur-lee.” 

There are three types of bluebirds, eastern, western and mountain.  We have the eastern in our area.  The male has a reddish brown breast and overall blue plumage, while the female is a softer washed-out pale blue.

If you would like more information, including nest box plans, visit www.nabluebirdsociety.org.

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