The Maryland Bluebird Society (MBS) assists in monitoring and increasing the population of the Eastern Bluebird and other cavity nesting birds by educating and informing our members and the public about Bluebirds. Below are links to a few short videos with sound and a sound clip.
We have a live video Bluebird website maintained by MBS member John Wachter at this link. This is a dual live video feed, 24/7, 365 days a year! When the Bluebirds are not active in the nesting box, we show live video of John’s bird feeders. The nestbox is illuminated with infrared lights to allow viewing the nest at night. If the webcam is not up and running, please refresh your screen and/or try again in a few moments. John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western Bluebirds at Fawzi’s orchard
These Western Bluebirds are in Fawzi’s orchard in California. Several short videos, all were photographed in the 2012 breeding season.
It is important to point out that feeding mealworms to bluebirds is not necessary. These birds can manage to feed their babies and live well on their own. Some of the reasons it is acceptable to supplement their diet are: (1.) One mate is missing and only one adult is caring for the babies, (2.) In the very cold climates when the earth is frozen and covered with snow and ice for longer than one week, (3.) To take pictures and/or movies of these beautiful birds.
If you do feed them for pleasure and/or picture taking, you must be careful not to give them too much food so they continue to hunt and forage in their normal way. Once they have been trained to come to the feeder, they should be able to eat all the mealworms offered in less than 2 minutes! In general for an adult pair I’d give them one to two teaspoonfuls of mealworms once a day. For two adults with babies I’d give them three teaspoonfuls a day. This way the adults and babies will remain independent and continue to hunt for food on their own. However, they do love the treat and will come when they know the free food is coming…
The videos below were taken of a pair of Bluebirds and their four babies in the 2012 season. They laid five eggs, four of which hatched and the four babies are with their parents daily. In the beginning I had to whistle a special tune for them to come and get the mealworms. Later on they knew me well and would come when they saw me (even if I was working in the orchard and not bringing them any mealworms!) Since I now live in California, these are Western Bluebirds. They are just as wonderful to know as the Eastern Bluebirds (which I used to care for in Maryland.)
- Dad feeding mom and babies inside the nestbox. 2:08 video on YouTube. Dad doing his job feeding the whole family!
- Both parents feeding babies in the nestbox. 1:45 video on YouTube. Here both parents are taking food for the babies which are still in the nestbox.
- Baby being fed by his dad. 1:53 video on YouTube. Note the “wing waving,” in this case begging for food. Adults use wing waving during the “courting” period before making a nest. At this time I no longer need to whistle as they know about the feeder.
- Two of the four babies feeding on their own. 0:48 video on YouTube. Now two of the four babies are seen eating on their own! At the end of the video they suddenly fly away and you will see the Blue Jay that scared them off…
- Interesting relationship develops between an Oak Titmouse and the three Western Bluebirds. This is the same family of WEBL, one baby remains with her parents after four months. Please read the paragraph below the video to find the details. 1:30 video on YouTube showing the same Bluebird family (dad, mom and daughter) with a new friend, an Oak Titmouse.
Boy scout troop 470 monitoring their trail.
Boy scouts with their leaders go about monitoring boxes on their trail, May 30, 2012. 13 minute video on YouTube.
Video showing babies fed inside the nest box and the father removing the “fecal sac.”
Father Western Bluebird feeding babies inside the nestbox. He then goes inside the box to remove the white fecal sac thus keeping the nest clean. By Marv Parker, Sebastopol, CA. June 27, 2010. 25 second video on YouTube.
Child inspecting nest box
With help from adults, a child inspects an Eastern Bluebird nest box in Potomac, MD with young babies in it. May 12, 2007. 32 second video on YouTube.
Bluebird and Nestling sounds
Eastern Bluebird feeding its babies and recorded at its nest box in Potomac, MD. The parent makes 3 types of calls and the babies can be heard begging for food. June 8, 2007. Download – 31 secs: 247K mp3 file