Eastern Bluebird

Sialia sialis

Copyright, Bill Horn

Eastern Bluebirds are a medium-sized bird, growing up to seven inches long. Males are easy to recognize, with a bright blue back, head, and wings, and a rust-colored throat and breast. They have a white belly. Females are similar, but much duller.

Eastern Bluebirds live in open woods, clearings, fields, gardens, streamsides, and roadsides.

These birds are cavity-dwellers, so they nest in natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, and bird boxes. Nests are built with grasses and weed stems.

Bluebirds mate in early Spring and lay four to six pale blue eggs. The eggs are incubated (sat on and warmed) for about 12 days. Baby birds are fed by their parents and will leave the nest in two or three weeks.

Copyright, Ron Austing

Copyright, Dr. Dan Sudia

Eastern Bluebirds are nowhere near as common as they used to be. While they are still around, and are seen when people build nest boxes, scientists wonder why there aren't more.

Most think it probably has to do with other birds that live here, but were introduced from other places. European Starlings and House Sparrows are also cavity-nesters, and scientists believe that these birds are probably taking up all the nest sites. They may even kick bluebirds out of their nests.

Copyright, Chicago Academy of Sciences

Eastern Bluebirds eat a wide variety of fruits, insects, and other invertebrates (small animals without backbones), including: beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, spiders, centipedes, isopods, snails, earthworms, Flowering Dogwood, Eastern Redcedar, Smooth Sumac, Virginia Creeper, Poison Ivy, Pokeweed, blackberries, Common Elderberry, Black Cherry, Japanese Honeysuckle, Wild Grape, American Holly, and blueberries.

Predators of Eastern Bluebirds include hawks, owls, climbing snakes, Raccoons, and squirrels.

Much like American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds are thought of as a first sign of Spring. But, just like robins, bluebirds live here year-round.

Eastern Bluebirds help disperse (spread) the seeds of many fruit-bearing plants. By pooping seeds out in new places, bluebirds allow the seeds to grow into new plants.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Eastern Bluebird Call
Sound
Gregory Gough
Eastern Bluebird Song
Sound
Unknown
Eastern Bluebird
Video
Phil Heine
Eastern Bluebird Coloring Page

Link to Printable Page

EnchantedLearning.com

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Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Common Black Ground Beetle

Red-tailed Hawk

Black Oak

European Starling EC

European Gypsy Moth

Sharp-shinned Hawk

American Sycamore

House Sparrow EC

Evergreen Blackberry

Barred Owl

Black Willow

Highbush Blueberry D

Pokeweed

Black Rat Snake

White Oak

Evergreen Blackberry D

Earthworm

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Red Maple

Virginia Creeper D

Garden Centipede

Raccoon

Silver Maple

Poison Ivy D

Poison Ivy

Virginia Pine

Smooth Sumac D

Smooth Sumac

Eastern White Pine

Eastern Redcedar D

Isopod

Smooth Crabgrass

Pokeweed D

Highbush Blueberry

Switchgrass

Flowering Dogwood D

Virginia Creeper

Queen Anne's Lace

Japanese Honeysuckle D

Daring Jumping Spider

English Plantain

American Holly D

Differential Grasshopper

Red Clover

Flowering Dogwood

Black Locust

Field Cricket

Eastern Redcedar

Japanese Honeysuckle

American Holly

Clouded Sulphur

Dogwood Borer

Relationship to Humans:

Eastern Bluebirds are one of America's best known birds, and many people are upset that they are not seen as often as they used to be. To help, people have been building bird boxes to give bluebirds more nest sites. Eastern Bluebirds also help people by eating insects and by dispersing seeds of desirable fruits, such as blackberries and blueberries. However, they also spread seeds of plants we consider weeds, such as Pokeweed and Poison Ivy.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Bird
ORDER
Passeriformes
FAMILY
Turdidae
GENUS
Silialia
SPECIES
Silialia sialis

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