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Factors That Can Negatively Impact Bluebird Survival

Weather:  snow, rain, wind, cold, heat  drought, water, winter kill all can have a negative effect. Colder than normal weather in over wintering grounds can suppress reproduction in the spring.

Predators: snakes, raccoons, feral and domestic cats, owls, hawks, crows, squirrels, weasels, black bears, opossums, chipmunks, mice

Nest competitors:

Big 3 >  house sparrows, tree swallows, house wrens

Problem species > starlings, chickadees, titmice, nuthatch, woodpeckers, cowbirds, flycatchers

Pests:  ants, paper wasps, mud wasps, carpenter  bees, mites, lice, blowflies, parasites

Human:  lack of proper management, no (or improper) predator guard, boxes do not meet design standards, wrong location, lack of monitoring, too many nest boxes,  uneducated about bluebirds, vandalism,

Other:  disease, cars, flying into buildings,  migration, chemicals, insecticides, nest entanglements (string/horse hair)

Fact:  Approximately 70% of young & 50% of parent bluebirds die each year.

             Bluebirds thrive on active management. Proper management may be the key to their survival.


Read these articles for greater detail on Competitors, Predators & Problems.

Nest Competitors and Other Problem Species   by Allen Jackson

English House Sparrow & European Starling - Big Problems for Bluebirds  by Allen Jackson

House Wrens: Native Species but Major Problem for Bluebirds   by Allen Jackson

Competitors, Predators & Problems