Archive for October 22nd, 2015

Secondary Cavity Nesting Birds

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
Eastern Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebirds


This is Passport to Texas

My house is on land previously used for farming; except for a few young trees planted around my place, stands of large, mature trees are in short supply.

Despite the dearth of foliage, I do get bird visitors, including barn swallows, mockingbirds, scissor-tail fly-catchers, mourning doves, and sparrows. I even get the occasional visit from robins, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and killdeer, to name a few.

One bird I have not yet seen, but am told is in my area: the Eastern Bluebird. It is a small bird found in open woodlands and farmlands. I think it’s one of the prettiest little birds in Texas with its electric blue back and tail feathers and rusty orange breast.

Ornithologist, Cliff Shackelford, suggested how I might attract one to my yard.

16— They need a box to nest in. They’re birds that we call secondary cavity nesters that can’t build a cavity on their own in a dead tree, like a woodpecker. So, they use old woodpecker holes, or old rotten limbs.

They aren’t alone. Cliff says other species prefer a roof over their heads, too.

15— Bluebirds need it, titmice need it, and chickadees need it. So, you need to figure out first what birds are in your area, and which ones of those use boxes. And that’s when you can target which one to build and put up in your yard.

Find a link that will take you to nest box dimensions for various species at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.