How to Attract Bluebirds: Tips and FAQs

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Bluebirds are beautiful—it's easy to see why people are interested in attracting them. We’ve got easy tips and answers on how to attract bluebirds.

It’s easy to see why eastern, western and mountain bluebirds are among the most beloved backyard visitors. With their gorgeous colors, musical voices and gentle habits, who wouldn’t want to welcome these beauties into the backyard? Attracting bluebirds can take some time and patience. But once you’ve won them over, they’ll bring their special bluebird pizzazz to any yard or garden. Follow these tips and get expert answers to common questions about how to attract bluebirds. Also, check out how to attract cardinals.

Seven Tips for Attracting Bluebirds

Bluebird David SloasCOURTESY DAVID SLOAS

  1. Open it up. Bluebirds prefer open areas with low grass and perches from which they can hunt insects.
  2. Leave it alone. Dead trees provide important nesting and roosting sites for bluebirds and a whole host of other cavity-nesting birds. Leave dead trees standing (or leave dead limbs on live trees) when it’s safe to do so.
  3. Plant native. In winter, bluebirds add berries and other fruit to their diet, so planting trees and shrubs native to your area is a natural way to attract them.
  4. Just add water. A simple birdbath is often enough, but bluebirds are partial to moving water, so even a small fountain or dripper will make your water feature more enticing.
  5. Go chemical-free. Between spring and fall, a bluebird’s diet is mainly insects gleaned from the ground. Pesticides and other lawn chemicals are dangerous for birds that feed this way.
  6. Beware of roaming cats. Each year, cats kill millions of songbirds. Newly fledged nestlings are especially susceptible, so be a good bird landlord and keep your cats indoors.
  7. Offer mealworms. Feeding live mealworms can pose some challenges, but bluebirds find them irresistible.

Make sure you know how to clean a birdfeeder.

How to Attract Bluebirds FAQ

Bnbbyc17 Linda LesperanceCOURTESY LINDA LESPERANCE

Is My Yard a Suitable Habitat for Bluebirds?

Bluebirds prefer open to semi-open areas. They feed mainly on insects, often watching from a low perch and then fluttering down to take bugs from the ground. A wide expanse of open, chemical-free lawn provides ideal habitat. A very small yard or one with little or no open space will probably not be suitable for attracting bluebirds to nest, but you may still see them at your feeders.

What Food Attracts Bluebirds?

If you want to know how to attract bluebirds in your own backyard, provide mealworms. Live mealworms are always best, but you can try dried mealworms as well. If you’re feeling ambitious, raise your own mealworms for an unending supply.

What Bluebird Species Can I Attract?

North America boasts three distinct bluebird species: eastern bluebirds in the east and both western and mountain bluebirds in the west.

Next, read up on the benefits of a healthy backyard.

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Originally Published on Birds & Blooms

Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.