THE EASTERN BLUEBIRD

(Sialia sialis)

Eastern Bluebird - Male

The Eastern Bluebird is a medium sized member of the Thrush family which can be found in the woods, orchards and farm lands of Southern Ontario.

Their numbers have increased in the past few decades, after this pretty bird was in serious decline in the mid 20th century.

This was due to the destruction of their habitat, the use of pesticides, and the loss of their eggs and young to introduced bird species such as Starlings and House Sparrows.

When we drive around the farmland in Southern Ontario, we often see nesting boxes on fences around fields.

The song of the Eastern Bluebird

These are likely Bluebird nesting boxes, which are placed by local farmers and bird enthusiasts, and which encourage these lovely birds to nest here in beautiful Southern Ontario.

Sometimes other birds will use these boxes to build their nests and raise their young, but these birds are cavity nesters and requires a specific type of location and habitat.

Eastern Bluebird - female

These birds are not common here, but are fairly easy to identify when you see them as they have a white belly with blue on top and a reddish-brown throat and breast.

Females are not as brightly coloured as the males and have a more blue-grey wings and tail.

Their diet consists of crickets, snails, worms, caterpillars, beetles and grasshoppers, but they also eat a wide variety of wild fruits including wild grapes, dogwood berries, blackberries and sumac.

These birds can be observed feeding when they perch on a high point, for example a fence post, and then swoop down to catch insects on the ground.

If there is an abundant source of food for the winter, these birds may not migrate south.

If they do not head to warmer climes, they seek cover where there is warmth and a food source, such as in heavy thickets, woodlands or orchards where food and shelter is available.


Below, there is a charming video of the Eastern Bluebird, submitted by Arlene Marley, and shown here, thanks to Youtube!

All About Birds - The Eastern Bluebird
Extensive information from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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