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Name: Jesse Lasky
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Question:
I am posting this message in hope of finding more information on bluebirds because I am starting a trail of bluebird boxes near my home. I have already done a lot of research on bluebirds already but I still have some questions. One of these was what is the size of a bluebird pair's territory. Another question I have is what amount of this area has to be open grassy area. I would also like suggestions on how I can make this trail better. Thank you.



Replies:
According to Petersen's Field Guide, there are three species of bluebird-- the western, the eastern, and the mountain bluebirds. All three inhabit similar habitats and have the same nesting habits. (hmm... 3 words with the root "habit" in one sentence) No mention is made of territoriality. As a cross check, I looked up a species I know to be territorial, Anna's Hummer, and the guide does mention it; so the implication is that bluebirds are not strongly territorial (many species are not territorial). Be that as it may, territory size varies with food supply and population density. If you put too many birdboxes too close together, maybe other species will inhabit some of them. As for the area of open grassy land, the Guide just says "open terrain with scattered trees", so I would *guess* that any terrain with 20% - 80% open grassland is probably OK.

Jade Hawk



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