Jul 9, 2015 | Featured Web Article

The Bluebird Story

In the West, western bluebirds are commonly found in open habitat with scattered trees, including open forest, savanna, mountain meadows, farmland, parks, and golf courses.
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During the middle part of the 20th century, eastern bluebirds were nearly wiped out in North America. Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and increased competition for nest holes from starlings and house sparrows decimated bluebird populations.

Bluebirds disappeared from much of their traditional range. This situation drew the attention of a few concerned individuals who started a determined effort to provide human-made housing for bluebirds. Series of houses were put up in suitable open grassland habitats. This concept became known as a bluebird trail. As trails sprang up across North America and DDT and other pesticides were banned, the bluebirds made a comeback. Today the eastern bluebird population is doing well, thanks to bluebird lovers who devote their time and energy to providing much-needed housing.

While eastern bluebirds were making their comeback, things weren't so rosy for western bluebirds. Their population has declined substantially in the Pacific Northwest, most likely due to habitat loss. The species decline is not nearly as precipitous as its eastern cousin; it is being evaluated for special protection in several states. If you live in the range of western bluebirds, please consider providing and monitoring a bluebird nest box in suitable habitat. One other species of bluebird resides in North America: the mountain bluebird. Its population is smallest, but appears to be stable.

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