There are over 80 species of cavity dwelling birds that are looking for a home in the breeding season. Each species has specific needs and requirements with a bird house and it is important to know these requirements so you can provide for the right type of bird.
There are three main types of bluebird living in North America. There is the Eastern Bluebird, the Western bluebird and the Mountain Bluebird. Each species of bluebird likes slightly different habitats and their bird houses need to be appropriately placed. The Eastern bluebird bird house is a familiar sight in the yards, parks and golf courses of North America. You will recognize the male Eastern bluebird by its bright blue under parts and orange-red throat. The females have a slightly duller blue on their wings and tail and have a brown throat, breasts and sides.
The Eastern bluebird birdhouse needs to be placed in an open field, park, golf course or lawn with the entrance hole of the birdhouse facing the open area. Face the hole of the bluebird bird house east if possible, then north, south and lastly west. The Eastern bluebird bird house should be approximately 3-6 feet high and the entrance hole should be 1 ½” in diameter and minimum spacing should be 300 feet.
Make sure the Eastern bluebird bird house is ready to go before the breeding season, which will be begin anytime between mid-March and early April. The Eastern Bluebirds are picky. The male will show the female around a selection of possible sites. The female may begin to build several nests in these sites but will eventually just concentrate her efforts on one nest. Try to make sure your bluebird bird house is as appealing as possible by finding the perfect location and the best possible construction. Remember safety from predators is an important consideration with your bluebird bird house.
The Western bluebird bird house needs to be the same height and have the same sized hole and minimum spacing as the Eastern bluebird. The only difference with the Western bluebird is that it tends to prefer open forests rather than open parks and meadows. Because of the warmer climate, western bluebirds are generally residential but they may choose to move to lower elevations in the winter months.
Mountain bluebirds will nest in hayfields, meadows, prairies and the edges of deciduous forests. Again, the mountain bluebird bird house needs to be the same height, sized hole and minimum spacing as the other types of bluebird.
Make sure the bluebird bird house is protected from predators. The size of the hole should be cut to the size of the bluebird and no larger. Make sure the birdhouse has an extended roof of five inches. This will make it harder for raccoons and domestic cats to reach into the bird house. Erect the bird house on a PVC or metal pole. Most predators find it difficult to climb a pole, and you can also install a predator guard at the top of the pole for extra protection. Lastly make sure there is no perch on your bluebird bird house as this is a way for a predator to climb to the bird house and attack.