Mountain Bluebird Bungalow
Note: This box was specifically designed for our Colorado Mountain bluebirds.
If you have Western bluebirds (rusty sides rather than all sky blue), contact us
to discuss box modifications. Also note almost all bluebird boxes on the market
are designed for Eastern/Western and not the Mountain.
Bluebirds nest primarily in suburban and rural areas and can readily use our help for housing. Bluebirds cannot make their own houses, as they are second cavity nesters, relying on old woodpecker holes or rotting trees for places to build their nests. A manmade house is a welcome sight to most bluebirds, however, they tend to be a little more picky than most birds about how their house is designed and where it is located.
Males scout out possible nest cavities; females choose. A female Mountain Bluebird pays more attention to good nest sites than to attractive males. She chooses her mate solely on the basis of the location and quality of the nesting cavity he offers her—disregarding his attributes as a singer, a flier, or a looker.
Mountain Bluebirds take readily to nest boxes. However, even the best box won’t work if in unsuitable habitat or incorrectly placed. Locate the box away from buildings, areas of heavy pesticide use and outside of dense woods. Ideally bluebirds prefer open, rural country with scattered clumps of trees or low shrubs such as on the margin of woods facing open fields, meadows or pastures.
Bluebird boxes can be mounted on poles, fence posts or even tall chain link fences. Posts or poles are the best for providing protection from predators. If you use a metal post, wire the box to it using 16-gauge wire. When possible, face the boxes toward the next fence post so that the birds can look into the entrance hole while perching nearby. Mounting on trees is less desirable because of the threat of climbing predators like cats, raccoons, and squirrels.
The bottom of the nest box should be at least 3 feet above ground, but we strongly recommend to mount it 4 to 5 feet above ground to deter predators and still allow for easy monitoring.
Face the box to the east or southeast to capture the most warmth from the rising sun. More importantly, face the box away from prevailing winds and towards a tree or shrub within 100 feet. When the young leave the nest, they will make an initial flight to safety, which is usually towards a nearby tree or shrub.
Proper spacing of your nest boxes is important as bluebirds are territorial when breeding. Mount boxes in pairs at least 100 yards apart, with 10 to 20 feet between boxes in a pair. Aggressive competitors such as Tree Swallows or Violet-green Swallows can nest in the first box, leaving the second for bluebirds.
For more information on birdhouses, monitoring and nest information, we carry a very informational booklet published by Bird Watcher’s Digest, and we discount the price with any box purchase.