Come walk the bluebird trail beside some of the historic buildings of Olmsted County. The History Center maintains 10 bluebird houses across its 46 acre property. The houses are checked weekly during the spring and summer for problems and to count the eggs and fledged chicks. Olmsted County raises more than 1,000 bluebirds a year, and is only one of five counties in Minnesota to maintain such figures. Few people know that bluebirds were once more common than robins. Due to the introduction of invasive species, such as the house sparrow and loss of habitat, including oak savannah, the bluebird population was decimated. Today, bluebird numbers are on the rise once again, thanks to a recovery program started in 1979.
Eastern Bluebirds begin to arrive in our area in early March. Nesting season is from April through August with two broods typically, and occasionally three broods. Bluebird families stay together for the entire nesting season, and it is not unusual to see the first hatch of bluebirds helping out with later season babies.
Our bluebirds nest in Gilberston PVC nest boxes, placed intermittently in pairs throughout the property. Ideally, nest boxes should be in open grassland areas with scattered trees, little ground cover and away from brush and woods. The area should have a perching spot in view of the nest. If you spot one of our nest boxes with bright orange “flutters” on the top, that is a technique for keeping house sparrows away from the nesting bluebirds.
Satellite map of our nest box locations.
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