pesticide use and the gradual shift to more row crops had a negative impact on the bluebird's food availability. Starlings are one of the most damaging invasive species to ever hit the US. Pairing boxes allow tree swallows (or other territorial birds) to use one box and leave the empty one for bluebirds. Mow your yard early and late in the typical mowing season to help increase insect foraging opportunities. Although this popular songbird nests in every Michigan county, it is most common in the northern Lower Peninsula. The starling is a a very agressive hole dwelling bird and competes with wood peckers, warblers I believe and even wood ducks. Expect chickadees, titmice, sparrows, woodpeckers, wrens, and flying squirrels to also use the boxes. Some box builders prefer access from the front or top of the box. The European Starlings are year-round residents in Michigan. Habitat manipulation should be minimal in these types of areas, although fire management can be beneficial in oak savannas, oak barrens, and jack-pine barrens where it can be safely executed by fire management professionals (permits are usually required). European Starling has been the subject of a lot of migration research in its native Europe, and it looks like research on its migratory habits in North America would be likely to yield some very interesting results. Spring Birds of Michigan (March, April, May) March is perhaps the most variable month weather-wise, sometimes being an extension of winter, sometimes heralding the beginning of spring, and usually exhibiting characteristics of both seasons. wetlands where they feed on sumac, wild grapes, pokeweed, honeysuckle, poison ivy, and holly. The box may be nailed, screwed or wired to metal poles, fence posts, private utility poles or tree trunks. If possible, mount it along a field edge near wires or other perches. Place two boxes 15 to 25 feet apart and at least 100 yards from the next pair of boxes. Founded in 1999, started as a collection of links to Michigan related sites, and a series of manually edited blogs. Their new plumage is a glossy iridescent black with purple and greens and all their feather tips are white, giving the appearance of many stars. If the box is filled with unorganized twigs, a wren has likely moved in. Use 1-inch coated box nails or wood screws. She will then lay a clutch of three to six eggs, with five eggs being the standard. 2000. Barrens and savannas are also great places for this since both sites for nests and water may be in short supply. In addition to bad winters and foreign bird competition, Like most birds, bluebirds are attracted to water. The bottom should be recessed a quarter-inch, and the inside corners cut away to provide drainage. Early nesters, they begin to look for woodpecker holes and cavities, which they will clean out if necessary. Wrens and sparrows are a special problem because they will evict bluebirds and destroy their nests. Mounting: Using holes placed in the extensions of the back, secure the box four to six feet above the ground. In late 1999, we started our first message board. Sociable at most seasons, Starlings may gather in immense flocks in fall and winter. We'd really appreciate it! Look for other clues such as missing or pierced eggs, and pecked or dead nestlings lying under the box. If you see bluebirds near your feeder, you may be able to keep them coming by providing what is called the Miracle Meal. Bluebirds can be found throughout the state, and are most common in rural areas. Generally, bluebirds do best where soils are either very dry or very wet. (You must log in or sign up to reply here. The plumage is iridescentblack, glossed purple or green, and spangled with white, especially in winter. Trees have a difficult time becoming established in these areas, and the scattered trees that result often make good nesting sites for bluebirds. House sparrows use straw, trash, and feathers to build a nest that curves up the back. shrubs, and trees are favored. Oak savannas, oak barrens, and jack-pine barrens are good examples of native habitat important to bluebirds. habitat changes also contributed to their decline. The management works very hard to make sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. Bird feeders containing a mixture of peanut butter and cornmeal may also attract them in winter. Assuming the wren is not nesting, remove the twigs and plug the hole until the wren relocates. The following are options to consider when managing for bluebirds: Materials: Use 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch wood such as cedar or exterior-grade plywood. Keep this in mind when measuring the success of your management. It is seen less frequently in the metropolitan area of southeast Lower Michigan and in the intensively farmed Thumb region. Killing starlings is a topic that is dear to my heart, without being long winded I will tell you a little about starlings and why we should kill every one of the little bastidges.... After a bad day at work I sit on the deck with a full choked 20 pump and a box of 8's and pass shoot the buggers. grassland habitat with scattered trees; especially where trees are large enough to provide nesting cavities and provide Thanks for your patronage - Steve. It was a marriage of my passions for the outdoors and the internet. Although bluebirds do not winter in Michigan in large numbers, they may be found in wetlands where they feed on sumac, wild grapes, pokeweed, honeysuckle, poison ivy, and holly. Because sparrows are not protected by law, they can be destroyed. From mid-February to mid-March, bluebirds return to Michigan in small flocks from southern wintering grounds. The common starling is 19–23 cm (7.5–9.1 in) long, with a wingspan of 31–44 cm (12–17 in) and a weight of 58–101 g (2.0–3.6 oz). Most or all of these species will benefit from management for bluebirds. A predator guard will discourage raccoons, squirrels, and house cats. In other areas, such as abandoned orchards and old fields, more active management may be needed. ). bogs and sedge meadows. Therefore, bluebirds need four to five weeks of uninterrupted time to rear their young. During fall migration and on its winter range, fruiting vines, In the fall after they molt. Migration routes are typically north-south, but there are variations that take birds to the eastern U.S. coastline. Bluebirds are also attracted to mowed lawns where they Males typically show several potential sites to females, who will make the final decision. Treat pine or other wood on the outside only to protect it from the weather. Care to buy us a beer? Bluebirds are found in old fields, abandoned orchards, open woodlands, oak To 1 cup of melted lard or suet add 4 cups yellow corn meal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon corn oil, plus sunflower hearts, peanut hearts and chopped, soaked raisins. Bluebirds do not migrate long distances, and when food abounds in mild winters, they go no farther south than is necessary. References: Brewer, D., A. W. Diamond, E. J. Woodsworth, B. T. Collins, and E. H. Dunn. Once the female selects a cavity, she spends a week or so bringing soft, dry grass with which to form a deep, cup-shaped nest inside the cavity. fencerows were removed. Design: The outside dimensions of the box should be 5-1/2 inches wide and 15 inches tall in back. Ha! Although bluebirds do not winter in Michigan in large numbers, they may be found in Therefore, the presence of an abundance of water is important in their survival. Access: You need to be able to get into the box to clean it out after each clutch, or to remove nests of wasps and other birds. The underparts of adult male common starlings are less spotted than those … Males may mate with more than one female, and females may mate with more than one male. Set up nest boxes and provide water baths along fencelines in orchards and old fields, or open area with scattered trees and low sparse grassy groundcover. It was one of Michigan's first social networks. The adults may raise one or two more families during the summer-long nesting season before they head south again for the winter.


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