Preparing Birdhouses for Eastern Bluebirds in Winter

As a responsible bird enthusiast, I make sure to check my birdhouses before winter arrives. This is to ensure that they are clean and ready for the Eastern Bluebirds to take shelter in during harsh winter conditions in Arkansas.

Eastern Bluebird Perched On A Birdhouse In Winter
Eastern Bluebird Perched On A Birdhouse In Winter (Larger Image)

There are several reasons why birdhouses are essential for Eastern Bluebirds during the winter months.

First, while Arkansas winters are generally milder compared to other parts of the country, they can still be challenging for small birds like Eastern Bluebirds. Birdhouses provide much-needed shelter from the wind, snow, and freezing temperatures.

Second, with the loss of old-growth forests, there are fewer natural cavities available for Eastern Bluebirds to nest in. Birdhouses help fill this gap and provide a safe and comfortable place for the birds to roost.

Lastly, Eastern Bluebirds are known for their communal roosting behavior during the winter. They often huddle together in a birdhouse for warmth, which helps them conserve energy and survive the night.

For those interested in attracting Eastern Bluebirds to their yard during the winter, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Put up a birdhouse designed specifically for Eastern Bluebirds. It should have a small entrance hole (approximately 1.5 inches in diameter) and be made of wood or cedar.

  2. Place the birdhouse in a sunny location to keep it warm during the day.

  3. Clean out the birdhouse in the fall to remove any old nesting material and make it more attractive to new birds.

  4. Provide food sources such as mealworms, suet, or other foods that Eastern Bluebirds enjoy.

With a little effort, you can create a winter haven for Eastern Bluebirds in your backyard!

Image Information:

  • Date: 01/24/24
  • Time: 9:03 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
  • ISO: 8000
  • Aperture: 8
  • Shutter: 1/500
  • Exp. Comp.:+0.7
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Manual

2 thoughts on “Preparing Birdhouses for Eastern Bluebirds in Winter”

  1. Hello Steve, although we don’t get bluebirds here in Crete I would love to put a birdbox in my garden but worry in case it attracts mice when they flick out the seed. My husband has two aviaries in the garden which seem to be o.k. whereas I would have to hang the birdbox from a tree. What do you think.
    Regards Rita Roberts.

    • Dear Rita,
      It’s wonderful that you want to attract birds to your garden, even though bluebirds aren’t native to Crete. While it’s true that bird feeders and birdhouses can sometimes attract mice, there are ways to minimize the risk and still enjoy the company of feathered friends.

      Here’s my take on your concerns:

      Mouse Attraction:

      Aviaries vs. Birdhouse: Your husband’s aviaries likely attract fewer mice because they are enclosed and off the ground, making access difficult. A hanging birdhouse is more accessible, so there’s a slightly higher chance of attracting mice.

      Minimizing the Risk:

      Seed Choice: Avoid using sunflower seeds and opt for shelled peanuts, suet cakes, or millet. These are less messy and less appealing to mice.

      Cleanliness: Regularly clean the area beneath the birdhouse to remove fallen seeds and nesting materials that might attract mice.

      Location: Hang the birdhouse away from walls, fences, and trees that could provide easy climbing access for mice. Consider a pole with a squirrel baffle.

      Alternative Food Sources: Seal up any potential food sources for mice around your garden, like pet food, compost bins, or garbage cans.

      Additional Tips:

      Birdhouse Type: Choose a birdhouse with a small entrance hole to deter larger animals like squirrels and potentially mice.

      Native Species: Attract native birds by offering food and shelter they prefer. You can research bird species in Crete and choose a birdhouse suitable for their needs.

      Monitor and Adapt: Keep an eye on the area around the birdhouse and adjust your approach if you see signs of mice activity.

      Attracting birds to your garden with a birdhouse is definitely possible, even with the potential for mice. By taking the above precautions and adapting your approach as needed, you can create a welcoming environment for birds while minimizing the risk of attracting unwanted guests. Remember, observing and learning from nature is part of the joy of having a garden!

      Best regards,


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