Eastern bluebird Facts

Eastern bluebird Facts
Eastern bluebird is small bird that belongs to the family of thrushes. There are 8 subspecies of eastern bluebird that are native to North and Central America. Eastern bluebird inhabits savannas, grasslands, woodlands and open areas with scattered trees. It can be also often found in the parks, gardens, yards and orchards. Habitat loss and increased competition for food and nesting sites with introduced species of birds resulted in drastic reduction in the number of eastern bluebirds at the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to conservation efforts and construction of the large number of nest boxes (artificial nests), population of eastern bluebirds is large and stable today.
Interesting Eastern bluebird Facts:
Eastern bluebird can reach 6.3 to 8.3 inches in length and 0.9 to 1.2 ounces of weight. Females are slightly smaller than males.
Males have blue back, dark-colored tips of the wings, reddish-brown chest and white belly. Females have grayish body with blue-tinged wings and orange-colored chest.
Eastern bluebird has large, roundish head, slender, black beak and short legs and tail.
Eastern bluebird is diurnal animal (active during the day).
Eastern bluebird is an omnivore (it eats plants and meat). Its diet is based on crickets, grasshoppers and various beetles during the summer and berries, wild grapes and honeysuckle during the autumn and winter. Eastern bluebird occasionally eats shrews, lizards, salamanders, frogs and small snakes.
Eastern bluebird is gregarious bird that lives in groups (flocks) of around 100 birds outside the breeding season. They communicate via songs and body postures.
Eastern bluebird occupies and defends territory of 1.1 hectares during the mating season and 120.8 hectares during the winter (feeding grounds). Northern populations migrate toward the south when food becomes scarce during the winter.
European starlings, house sparrows, raccoons, eastern chipmunks, flying squirrels, black bears and snakes are natural enemies of eastern bluebirds.
Mating season of eastern bluebirds takes place from February to September. Formed (breeding) couples often last several seasons. Eastern bluebirds produce two broods per season.
Male collects building material, while female builds cup-shaped nest in the abandoned woodpecker holes or in the cavities of trees. Construction of the nest lasts 10 days.
Female lays 3 to 7 bluish eggs that hatch after 13 to 16 days. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs.
Chicks are helpless at birth. Both parents provide food (insects) for their chicks while they are in the nest (until the age of 15 to 20 days) and three weeks after they leave the nest.
In the rare cases, older chicks (from the first brood) participate in the rearing of the young chicks. Second brood usually stays with the parents during the winter.
Eastern bluebirds reach sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Eastern bluebirds can survive 6 years in the wild and up to 10 years in the captivity.

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