Local naturalist nurtures bluebird breeding program at Hammock Bay

April 23, 2011


Bluebird eggs. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Spring brings nesting bluebirds

Spring brings a full house to 55 bluebird boxes at Hammock Bay in Freeport.

This is the fifth season Joe Wyatt, naturalist at Hammock Bay, has been running a bluebird breeding program for these beautiful indigenous birds. The success has been quite good with close to 300 fledglings each year.

Cool Facts:
The male Eastern Bluebird displays at his nest cavity to attract a female. He brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and waves his wings while perched above it. That is pretty much his contribution to nest building; only the female Eastern Bluebird builds the nest and incubates the eggs.
Eastern Bluebirds typically have more than one successful brood per year. Young produced in early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter.
Eastern Bluebirds occur across eastern North America and south as far as Nicaragua. Birds that live farther north and in the west of the range tend to lay more eggs than eastern and southern birds.
Eastern Bluebirds eat mostly insects, wild fruit and berries. Occasionally, Eastern Bluebirds have also been observed capturing and eating larger prey items such as shrews, salamanders, snakes, lizards and tree frogs.
The oldest recorded Eastern Bluebird was 10 years 5 months old.

Information courtesy allaboutbirds.org