favorite summer visitor for many, the Eastern Bluebird is more common in the
eastern part of the state. They historically have used old woodpecker
holes and other cavities in trees for nesting. However, they will readily
nest in man-made bluebird boxes, and have greatly benefited from the increased
placement of these boxes, especially as
European Starlings have become aggressive competitors for natural tree
cavities for nesting.
Habitat: Eastern Bluebirds can be found in a variety
of open and semi-open habitats. They prefer open country interspersed with
trees for nesting.
Diet: Mostly insects and berries.
Behavior: Often feeds by observing from a
relatively low perch and flying down to pluck insects from the ground or
foliage, often hovering instead of landing while taking the food item.
They will also sometimes fly out and catch insects in mid-air.
Breeding pairs may perch next to and preen each other.
Nesting: Late April through July
Migration: Winters in the southeastern United States and Mexico,
although small numbers may winter in the state in selected spots. Summers
throughout most of the eastern half of the United States and southeastern
Bird Feeders: Will sometimes attend feeders for
mealworms (yes, you can buy mealworms to feed to bluebirds!)
Conservation Status: Showed sharp decline previously due to
competition for nesting sites with non-native species (European
Starling, House Sparrow). Has been recovering, thanks in large part to
the large numbers of nest boxes erected for their benefit. The IUCN
currently lists Eastern Bluebirds as a species of "Least Concern".
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Eastern Bluebird"
eNature.com: Eastern Bluebird
Photo Information: March 30th, 2012 - Beaver Creek
Nature Area near Brandon, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Eastern Bluebird photos.