Eastern Bluebird
Sialia sialis

female eastern bluebird carry grub to feed young

Eastern bluebird facts and life history information:

  • American Ornithologists' Union Common Name: Eastern Bluebird
  • Family: Turdidae, Thrushes
  • Scientific name: Sialia sialis
  • Length: 7" (18 cm)
  • Diet: Insects, fruit, earthworms, snails, other invertebrates; especially berries. Young fed primarily insects. Hawking often from low perch, catching insects near ground. Very dependent on berries in winter.
  • Voice: Listen to Eastern Bluebird Song (recorded by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, courtesy of Macaulay Library)

    Song - A pleasing soft phrase of mellow whitstles chiti WEEW wewidoo and variations. Call of similar pleasant musical quality: a soft, husky whistle jeew or jeew wiwi; also a short, dry chatter.
  • Habitat: Found in open woodlands, farmslands, orchards.
  • Displays: Courting male sings and flutters in front of female, wings half open, tail spread, then perches beside and preens female, and may offer food.
  • Number of broods: 2, occasionally 3.
  • Nest: Often in woodpecker-excavated cavity; loose cup of grass, weed stems, pine needles, twigs, occasionally with hair or feathers. Built in average of 10-11 days. Female occasionally builds more than one nest.
  • Eggs: Averages 4-5 pale blue, occasionally white, unmarked eggs. 0.8" (21 mm).
  • Incubation period: 12-14 days
  • Fledge: 15-20 days after hatching
  • Longevity Record: 10 Years and 5 months (according to USGS Bird Banding Lab).

Thanks to organizations such as the North American Bluebird Society, Eastern Bluebird populations are making a comeback.

You can help by building and erecting bluebird nesting boxes as a way to supplement natural nesting cavities.

Specific bluebird house designs:

We highly recommend the Stokes Complete Guide to Attracting Bluebirds .

It is a great comprehensive book that not only covers how to attract bluebirds, but complete life history information and fantastic bluebird photos as well.

The book covers not only the Eastern Bluebird, but the Mountain and Western Bluebird as well.

It discusses nest boxes, landscaping for bluebirds, feeders, monitoring boxes, bluebird behavior and more.

Related Eastern Bluebird Pages:

Bluebird house plans - Several easy-to-build bluebird nest box plans.

Bluebird House Plans #2 - Birdhouse plans designed to keep bluebird eggs and nestlings cool on hot summer days.

Eastern Bluebird State Bird - The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and New York.

Photo of female Eastern Bluebird courtesy of Dolan on flickr.

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