When you visit Adkins Arboretum, you’ll see a bluebird trail of nesting boxes that are monitored by a volunteer.
Bluebirds can have up to three broods in a season extending from April to early September. Bluebirds are secondary cavity nesters, meaning that they use holes already created by woodpeckers since their beaks are not made for excavating a hole on their own. Through the creation of bluebird trails, bluebird populations increased by 2 percent per year between 1966 and 2010.
What can you do in your own backyard for our beautiful bluebird populations? You can provide fall and winter food sources with berry-producing native plants such as dogwood, viburnum, holly, eastern red cedar, and chokeberry. You can erect nesting boxes on your property to provide proper nesting in summer and shelter in winter, when bluebirds use the boxes as roosting places to keep warm. Remember that bluebirds love to eat insects in spring and summer, and naturally control pest populations during that season.
To learn more about attracting bluebirds to your landscape and become more involved in preserving this species, consider reading Bluebird Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes.
by Robyn Affron
Visitor Services Coordinator
Certified Professional Horticulturist