This has been my first year of bluebirding, and I was thrilled this summer to have a successful brood! We’ve recently noticed the 4 babies (newly molted!) visiting our backyard frequently for mealworms, and we wondered about their interest in the bluebird house (e.g., perching on top, trying to get inside). We live in Columbus, OH so it’s been quite chilly in the mornings. This morning, we noticed one of the baby bluebirds poking her head out from the birdhouse for quite awhile so now we’re wondering if they have indeed chosen the birdhouse as a roosting spot ??!! Very exciting!!
I’ve read some tips on sialis for winterizing the box, and I wondered if folks had any additional tips here for helping our little babies making it through an Ohio winter. I’m planning on getting a heater for the birdbath and adding a suet feeder in back. Does anyone here find any particular shrubs or vines to be helpful for the winter? Do you need to monitor the box if the bluebirds are roosting? I saw that Carol had left the holes open a bit for light … but I wondered how that worked on really cold days?
Hi, Meredith – glad you have some bluebirds interested in roosting in your boxes and sounds like that is exactly what they are doing. I leave the main front 1/2″ hole open of course so they can come and go out when they want. As far as leaving the other holes (the openings at the top of the box for air vents in summer) open, I only close them up when it is very cold, as I’ve had to do in my area which can get very cold (mid-Missouri). Some people do put a second removable floor in the box for the birds to roost in, giving them some extra protection. My bluebirds usually stay in my neighbor’s close pine trees which give them some good protection.
Good luck. Spring will be here sooner than we think, hopefully.