Attracting Birds, Bluebirds, Bird Food and Feeders  |  January 26, 2024

Bluebird Suet Recipe

Thanks to everyone who called in when I was on Simon Rose’s Show on 1400AM/98.9FM in Columbia, MO on Thursday 1/24 from 9:15am to 10am.

As stated on the show, mealworms are the #1 supplement food to offer bluebirds. Songbird Station has live mealworms grown in Central Missouri at great prices. The live mealworms come in 100 in a cup, 1000 in a bag, and 5000 in a bag. Also, several sizes of dried mealworms are also available (coat with olive oil before feeding).

We also discussed a nugget bluebird treat Songbird Station sells. I promised to share a recipe that is a great homemade suet and bluebird supplement when crumbled. The recipe will not save you any money but can be fun to do with children. My favorite and the most proven recipe is the No-Melt Peanut Butter Suet created by Martha Sargent.

People have been using this recipe for over 20 years! Some people like to add a few chopped currents, cherries, and other fruits to the mix.

Martha and her late husband, Bob Sargent, were also founders and directors of the Bluebird Society for many years. We were very honored when Bob endorsed our Dr. JB’s hummingbird feeder as the world’s best hummingbird feeder.

Remember we are always here to answer any of your backyard birding questions or requests.

Bird Man Mel

Attracting Birds, Bluebirds, Bird Watching  |  March 25, 2020

The Bluebirder’s Ten Commandments


I. Place houses at least 300 feet apart, because bluebirds are territorial.

II. Keep the bluebird houses in open habitat. It’s the environment they prefer.

III. Control the House Sparrow, or it will eliminate the bluebird and Tree Swallow.

IV. Add a second bluebird house 21 feet (7 paces) from the first house, at every 300-foot setting. This will allow the valuable Tree Swallow to also nest on your bluebird trail.

V. Control the most threatening parasite, the blowfly larva.

If you don’t, you may end up fledging very few, if any, baby birds. Change their nests when babies are from seven to 10-days old (only one change per brood needed.)

VI. Attach a predator guard to your bluebird houses. This will protect the bluebirds from predators and other enemies.

VII. Avoid handling the bluebird and/or Tree Swallow young after they are 14 days or older. They may fledge prematurely, which could cause their death.

VIII. Monitor your bluebird trail at least once every week.

IX. Remove the old bluebird and/or Tree Swallow nests on your first nest check after the young have fledged.

X. Keep accurate field records. This is the first step toward achieving greater success on your bluebird trail.

© 1995 Andrew M. Troyer – Bring Back the Bluebirds


Bluebirds  |  April 23, 2019

Bluebird Trivia

bluebird eggs in nest

It’s worth the wait when you wake up one morning and find tiny Bluebird Eggs in your backyard bird house.  

Here’s some Bluebird Trivia which you may not have known:

– Besides the usual blue, Bluebird’s eggs can also appear White.  Approximately 7% of Bluebirds’ eggs are white.  Females who lay white on their first brood eggs will generally only lay white eggs. 

–  The female Bluebird is the main incubator of the eggs.

– Bluebirds generally have two broods of nestlings a year, but sometimes they have three.

– Besides nesting boxes, Bluebirds’ nests can sometimes be found in wooden fence posts and hollow trees.  Bluebirds are cavity nesters.  Before nest boxes came into use, they nested in woodpecker holes in both fence posts and trees.  Due to alien bird species (which trail monitors will throw out) taking over their nesting places, and wooden fence posts being replaced with metal, most Bluebirds now nest in monitored boxes.

Want a high quality nesting box for your backyard Bluebirds?  Try the one pictured here – Ultimate Bluebird House which includes portal protector and nest lift.  Or for serious birders, try our Peek-A-Boo Ultimate Bluebird House which has a bird cam installed inside the nest box and also includes the portal protector and nest lift.

Ultimate Bluebird House

Attracting Birds, Bluebirds  |  January 11, 2019

Attract Bluebirds to Your Backyard

The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri. These small, brightly colored birds (males have a blue upper body, red breast, and white belly; females look similar but are slightly larger and duller in color.) Their population declined as suburban developments grew and their preferred habitat (farmlands, forests and grasslands) shrank, but bird lovers have become more attentive to their needs.

They live year-round in many parts of the state and readily nest in man-made boxes, so there’s a great deal of local interest in attracting these “harbingers of spring.”

Quality Food:

Bluebirds typically eat insects and fruit, so planting native plans like American Bittersweet is a great way to attract and help them. They also love mealworms, which at 50.4% protein, are an excellent nutrition source !

They will eat mealworms from a cup or pan, but Bluebirds wilt rapidly consume whatever you put out. Bluebird Feeders force the bird tö go through an entrance hole to find the worms, and most other birds will not do so. They will also eat Sunflower Kernels from Songbird Essentials Spiral Feeders.

If you’re patient and consistent, Bluebirds will also respond to whistles and other calls when your feeder is refilled — try it!

Clean, Fresh Water:

Eastern Bluebirds drink water from ponds, streams and birdbaths and seem to prefer running water versus standing water. Keep water sources fresh and clean, and in the winter, use heated birdbaths or bird bath de-icers.

Safe, Secure Shelter (including nesting sites)

Eastern Bluebirds are cavity nesters, and common natural nesting sites include tree holes, rotted out fence posts and old orchards. The entrance hole to a man-made bird house needs to be just the right size; for the Eastern Bluebird, that’s 1.5″ in diameter, with about a 4″ by 4″ floor.

Many customers use our Songbird Essentials Ultimate Nest Box. With Plexiglas on one side (so you can monitor the nest), a copper predator protector around the entrance hole, and an elevated mesh floor, it’s provides durable shelter for Bluebirds and their young.

Place nest boxes at least 100 yards apart, since Bluebirds are territorial during nesting season. They will nest in boxes at varying heights from the ground, but putting them at 4 to 5 feet high makes it easy to monitor them.

It can be helpful to install a T-shaped perching cross approximately 10 to 20 yards in front of the nest box. The male acts like a tiny hawk when it has chicks, waiting patiently for an insect or beetle to show, then pouncing on it.

Fledglings can find their own food in about two weeks, but adults — and sometimes youngsters from the first brood! — will bring food to the family. This often continues until fall and sometimes Bluebird families stay together until spring.

Bluebirds do prefer more “open area” than other nesting birds, so heavily wooded yards will probably not attract them.

Sources for more info:

Tips Brochure:

Bluebird TIPs Trifold