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Bluebirds in Texas PDF (795KB)

A complete guide to bluebird habits, habitat, feeding, nesting, monitoring the nestbox, and other cavity-nesters (Published by Texas Parks and Wildlife).

Basic Fact Sheet PDF (21KB) DOCX (17KB)

Being a bluebird's friend in a nutshell.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bluebirds in Texas ... but didn't know to ask PDF (352KB)

Information about bluebirds, their habits, and how you can help them to survive in the modern environment. This brochure was originally known as The Primer.

Homeowner's Manual PDF (199KB) PUB (220KB)

Answers to the most often asked questions about what a nestbox is, how to install it and and how to monitor it.

Nestbox Management For Landowners PDF (120KB)

Basic facts for landowners interested in bluebird conservation and Wildlife Tax Valuations

Quick and Easy Nestbox Installation PDF (120KB)

Powerpoint presentation on the steps to installing a nestbox.

Bird Behavior at Nestbox PDF (91KB)

General description of bluebird behavior during nesting cycle (often applies to other birds as well).

Nests, Eggs & Nestlings of Select Cavity-nesting Bird Species PDF (15KB)

Guide to identifying the nests, eggs and nestlings of birds that use nestboxes.

Texas Native Plants that provide food for Eastern Bluebirds PDF (409KB) (Berries)

Bluebirds primarily eat insects, but they supplement their diet with berries. Enhance your nestbox's surroundings by planting these Texas native plants nearby.

Texas Native Plants that attract food for Eastern Bluebirds PDF (233KB) (Insects and spiders)

Attracting insects and spiders to your garden may sound strange but Eastern Bluebirds primarily eat insects. This list will show you the plants that attrack the insects and spiders that Eastern Bluebirds like to eat! Attract more Bluebirds to your garden by planting these Texas Native Plants to attract the right "bugs".

Recommended Features For a Bluebird Nestbox in Texas PDF (39KB) Powerpoint (131KB)

Features to look for when buying your bluebird nestbox. If you want to build it, TBS has free plans that incorporate all of these recommended features.

Texas Blues TB-1 Nestbox PDF (115KB)

The design of our field-tested, Texas-tough TB-1 nestbox is available for free. The nestbox is sized for Eastern Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters. The TB-1 series has four variations that differ slightly in floor area, lumber size and necessary construction tools.

Heatshield PDF (100KB)

Adding a Heatshield to your nestbox is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your bluebirds from the intense Texas heat.

Kingston Stovepipe Predator Baffle PDF (69KB)

Nestboxes are vulnerable to many predators, such as raccoons, cats, snakes, and fire ants. Adding the Kingston Stovepipe Predator Baffle will deter the clawed ones.

Universal Sparrow Trap

If a House Sparrow has taken over your nestbox, you can humanely trap it with the Universal Sparrow Trap, also known as the Van Ert trap. If you have a TBS nestbox, the screws for attaching the sparrow trap are already positioned below the hole. Because the trap captures any bird that enters the nestbox, you must check your nestbox frequently (once an hour) after youve installed it. When you order one, please tell Floyd Van Ert, "Texas Bluebird Society sent me!"

NestWatch Explanation and Forms

Visit www.nestwatch.org for then most current instructions and forms. Nestwatch 2012 includes newly designed and formatted forms which make possible data entry from a mobile device with an internet connection.

Being a Friend to Bluebirds in Need PDF (700KB)

Useful information about TBS, its mission and bluebirds in Texas.

Membership Form PDF (154KB)

Print and mail this form to us to join TBS, or you can join online.

Bluebird to color PDF (157KB)

"Color me" drawing by Elizabeth Morris for TBS.

To find more information about bluebirds, visit the sites listed below. When you click on the link, the site will open in a new window.

National Wildlife Federation - It's Easy to Garden For Wildlife

Learn how to make your backyard a wildlife paradise.
National Wildlife Federation

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Native Plant Suppliers directory

For list of nurseries that sell native plants and seeds.

Native Plant Society of Texas

For information on all aspects of native plants, grasses and trees and to find a chapter near you.

Texas Native Plants that provide or attract food for Eastern Bluebird

See our "Texas Native Plants that provide food for Eastern Bluebirds-Berries" in Resources/Bluebird Facts or click here

See our "Texas Native Plants that attract food for Eastern Bluebirds-Insects" in Resources/Bluebird Facts or click here

North American Bluebird Society (NABS)

Texas Bluebird Society is an affiliate of The North American Bluebird Society and encourages dual membership. NABS offers TBS members a $15 "A-Plus" membership (half-price). On membership form, notate "A-Plus".

The North American Bluebird Society is a non-profit education, conservation and research organization that promotes the recovery of bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting bird species in North America.

PO Box 7844
Bloomington, IN 47407
NABS Website

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

159 Sapsucker Road
Ithica, NY 14850


All About Birds - Eastern Bluebirds

The Bluebird Box

Including the Internet's original Bluebird FAQ & featuring Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified
Jim McLochlin's "Bluebird Box" web site


The website of Bet Zimmerman, the webmaster for "Best of Bluebird L". Rich of information and resources for bluebirders.

Texas Parks and Wildlife - Texas Wildscapes

Texas Wildscapes is a habitat restoration and conservation plan for rural and urban areas. It enables Texans to contribute to wildlife conservation by developing wildlife habitats where they live, work and play.
Texas Parks and Wildlife

Once one of the more common birds in North America, by the early 1960's these birds were in serious trouble and intensive conservation efforts were needed to ensure the species survived. Concerned bluebird enthusiasts saw the impact habitat loss was having on these birds, and began restoring the lost cavities in which they could nest with "nestboxes." Soon "Bluebird Trails" began to appear across the country and cavity-nesters of all types, including the bluebirds began to recover.

Today, all three species of bluebird found in North America can be seen in Texas. By far, the most populous and productive nesting area for the Eastern Bluebird in Texas is east Texas, where several Texas Bluebird Society members maintain hundreds of miles of bluebird trails. In west Texas, trails are beginning to develop for the Western Bluebird, the other Texas nesting species. Once thought of as a "rural bird," Eastern Bluebirds are now being seen in Dallas suburbs while Austin has bluebirds within 30 miles of its northern limits.

The Texas Bluebird Society is working to establish "bluebirds across Texas", and you can help.

  • Bluebirds are a secondary cavity-nesting species. They use a cavity excavated (or built) by someone else for nesting. This is why we install nestboxes in suitable habitat
  • All three species of bluebird can be found in Texas, especially during the winter months.
  • Eastern Bluebirds nest through the eastern 2/3 of the state. These birds are making a strong comeback since people began placing and maintaining nestboxes to replace lost cavities the birds traditionally used.
  • The Eastern Bluebird is red, white and blue. Rusty red breast; white and dazzling blue. The male's colors are vivid; the female's colors are muted.
  • Western Bluebirds will nest in the Trans Pecos area of far west Texas, especially in the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains.
  • Bluebirds are members of the thrush family. Their musical song is very entertaining. They feed on insects most of the year, but will revert to fruit as a food source during winter months.
House sparrows

Image Courtesy of: The Birdhouse Network Copyright 2001 Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The House Sparrow is not a native bird to North America. Do not allow House Sparrows to nest.

To protect your nestbox from sparrows, order a Van Ert House Universal Sparrow Trap.

Another way to protect you nestbox is the Kingston Stovepipe Predator Baffle. It makes difficult for predators (including snakes) to reach the nestbox. Download a plan and build it yourself.


This link will take you to a Texas Bluebird Society PowerPoint presentation on OneDrive.

This link will download the presentation directly.

You may use this presentation subject to the following:

  • You must show the "disclaimer slide" and
  • We would appreciate it if you would send word to us when you present this program
Other than that, please enjoy this presentation and feel free to add other photos specific to your locale when you use this presentation.