Bluebirds in winter

bluebirdSome bluebirds migrate in winter, but the ones in Oklahoma stay here year round.  Just a few miles east in the Cross Timbers I’m seeing flocks of 15-20 bluebirds regularly.  My guess is these are migrants spending the winter here.  Our young pair of backyard bluebirds are here everyday now and have learned that the mealworms are served about 8:00 a.m.  The weather has not been really cold yet and I see them catch bugs frequently.

Life is pretty easy for this young pair– food, shelter and water all in one area.  We have too many sparrows in the yard, even though I continue to trap them.  They seem to have gotten wary of the trap lately.  I think that my old male Daddy pretty much kept them run off.  He would chase a sparrow relentlessly. This new pair has not nested yet, so hopefully when they do, Daddy II will become more protective of his territory.  The other male bluebird that showed up with them has not been around in a month or so.

Even though these birds have a pretty easy life, it’s not without it’s perils. They IMG_9193 ldoccasionally enter the box out of curiosity or whatever and if a sparrow went in, it would likely mean death for the bluebird.  And we have an occasional visitor to the red dirt hill, a Cooper’s Hawk that swoops low over the area where I throw out grain for the ground feeding birds.  Yesterday he twice perched on the bluebird box watching the backyard feeders.


About lindell dillon

Lindell Dillon is retired and lives in Norman, OK. He grew up in Duncan, attended Cameron College and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. His interests include photography, nature, birding, and investing. Oklahoma Master Naturalist, alumnus Norman Police Department Citizens Academy.
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2 Responses to Bluebirds in winter

  1. Jo Ann Wilkinson says:

    I had to write. I’m in NW suburbs of Chicago, Have been trying to attract bluebirds for several years. Mostly, if they DO start nesting, the sparrows kill them.
    You can’t imagine my surprise seeing THREE of them at my heated watering bowl this morning! I rushed and put up some dried mealworms and haven’t left the window since!
    So far, they haven’t returned…..

  2. lindell dillon says:

    I always caution folks that if they aren’t prepared to deal with sparrows, they should not put up a bluebird box. If a sparrow control program is not in effect, a box is simply a deathtrap and bluebirds should not die for people’s amusement. You can learn about sparrow control on sialis, the web’s most comprehensive bluebird site at

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