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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Eastern Bluebird -- Sialia sialis


RANGE: Breeds from southern Saskatchewan, southern Quebec, and western Nova Scotia south to southern Texas and southern Florida, and west to the Dakotas, western Kansas, Texas, and southeastern New Mexico; also in southeastern Arizona and through the highlands of Mexico to Central America. Winters from the middle portions of the eastern United States south throughout the breeding range.

STATUS: Population low but stable, many dependent on nest boxes.

HABITAT: Inhabits fields, forest edges, open woodlands, and open country with scattered trees, and in coniferous, deciduous, and riparian woodlands.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Low cavities for nesting and perches for foraging.

NEST: Nests in old woodpecker holes, hollows of decayed trees, crevices of rocks, and hollows in wooden fence posts when available. Many now nest in artificial nest boxes placed in open areas or at the edge of a forest.

FOOD: Catches insects and spiders by flying from a perch to the ground or hawking. Eats fruits and a few seeds during winter.

REFERENCES: Beal 1915a, Forbush and May 1955, Hartshorne 1962, Pearson 1936, Rustad 1972, Tate and Tate 1982, Thomas 1946.


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