Welcome to the Michigan Bluebird Society!
Male bluebird feeding a female bluebird - photo courtesy of Dave Kinneer
The Michigan Bluebird Society is a group of individuals dedicated to helping bluebirds and other cavity nesting bird species in the state of Michigan. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an affiliate of the North American Bluebird Society.
Why There is a Need to Help Bluebirds and What You Can Do
Because of habitat loss, environmental pollution, and competition of non-native bird species (House Sparrows and European Starlings), bluebirds have suffered large declines compared to their original numbers. However, bluebirds have been shown to thrive in areas where there is human-provided housing that is actively monitored. As a result, through the efforts of many people, bluebirds have increased in numbers in the last 10 years. Putting up a nest box is the easiest and most important thing you can do. Not only are you helping bluebirds to populate, but watching a pair of adults build a nest, lay eggs, and feed their young is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you will ever experience. Just ask any bluebird landlord - you'll be hooked and changed forever!
The Michigan Bluebird Society is an affiliate of the North American Bluebird Society.
Video: Learn How To Become A Bluebird Landlord in 8 Minutes
Michigan Bluebird News......
Nesting Season Is Here - Sort of!
Once again, the nesting season has arrived. But you've probably noticed that it's starting out kind of slow. Continuous cold weather will delay nest building and egg laying. A lot of this is because bluebirds know by instinct that the emergence of insects will also be delayed - which would make it harder to successfully feed nestlings.
In the meantime, make sure your nesting boxes are out in the yard (or on your trail) and that sparrows haven't moved into them. House Sparrows are also looking for nesting boxes right now and it's imperative that you monitor your housing to make sure they have not taken over any of your boxes.
Remember, successful bluebird landlords do NOT allow house sparrows to nest in any of their nest boxes. For help on how to combat house sparrows, go to our Problem Solving page on the MBS website. Also, you can purchase in-box traps on our MBS Store page. These are highly effective because you can trap problem sparrows and euthanize them to remove them from the habitat.
And with all this cold weather, it's a very good idea to feed mealworms to the bluebirds to help them and their babies get through the inevitable cold, wet snaps of Michigan weather. From our nest box reports, one of the most common reasons for failed nests in April and May is chilly wet weather. The parent bluebirds simply can't find enough food in this type of weather. The longer it goes on, the greater the chance that both adults and young will perish. So, put out a mealworm feeder with live mealworms starting now. Se our Feeding Bluebirds page for more information.
Finally, it's never too early to start planning your garden projects. It's always a good idea to plant shrubs, plants, and trees that attract bluebirds and other backyard birds. See our Planting for Bluebirds page for ideas on which plantings help to attract more bluebirds to your yard.
Please don't hesitate to contact MBS with any questions or problems you might have. We are available to assist you in your bluebirding efforts. To find a County Coordinator near you or for a general contact at the MBS, please go to Contact Us.
Your friends at the Michigan Bluebird Society