Bluebird Conservation

Conservation Bluebirds 1The Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis is native to Bermuda - the only location outside North America where this species breeds. Recognized as a distinct sub-species, our local bluebirds are now totally dependent on artificial nest boxes for breeding success and their survival in Bermuda can only be guaranteed with human help. (For general information about Bluebirds click here.)

The Bermuda Bluebird Society is an affiliate of the Bermuda Audubon Society.

Why Bluebirds need our help
Recent DNA research suggests that bluebirds found their way to Bermuda in the 1600s.  An absence of predators allowed for rapid colonization and early settlers described flocks of 50 or more bluebirds, feeding on coastal grasslands and nesting in old cedars and cliff cavities.  However, in the last 70 years, a combination of factors has caused a severe decline in the population, now estimated to be about 500 individuals:

  • Conservation Bluebirds 5Extreme loss of nesting habitat when the local cedar forest was wiped out by a scale insect in the late 1940s and 1950s. More recently, loss of habitat due to land development.
  • Nest-site competition from the non-native, invasive house sparrow (introduced 1870s) and European starling (from 1900s).  Both will evict bluebirds from their nests and kill chicks and adults. The kiskadee (introduced 1957) will also predate on young bluebirds. 
  • A large increase in the number of feral cats, especially since the introduction of cat feeding stations in the 1990s.
  • Use of pesticides, which can poison bluebirds when they eat contaminated insects.

Bluebird boxes and kits
The Bermuda Audubon Society sells bluebird boxes and kits through Aberfeldy Nursery in Paget   (Tel: 236-2927).  Ready-made boxes cost $35 and kits are $25. All proceeds come to The Bermuda Audubon Society.

Printable instructions for making and managing a bluebird nest box

 Conservation Bluebirds 3Conservation Bluebirds 2

 Bermuda Bluebird Society

 

Friends & Sponsors

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Acknowledgements:

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dobson, Paul Watson, Chris Burville, Ras Mykkal, Jennifer Gray, Rosalind Wingate, Rick Slaughter and others.

Get in Touch!

Telephone: (441) 238-8628

Email: info@audubon.bm

Website: www.audubon.bm


The Bermuda Audubon Society
P.O. Box HM 1328
Hamilton HM FX
Bermuda