Department of Environmental Conservation

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Watchable Wildlife: Eastern Bluebird

Did You Know?

A male eastern bluebird perched on a stump
Eastern bluebird (Male)- Sialia sialis
Photo: Jeff Nadler
  • The Eastern bluebird can see an insect 100 feet away!
  • In the fall, roosting flocks of up to 50 birds huddle together at night to stay warm.
  • Bluebirds are one of the first birds to return north in the spring.
  • The Eastern Bluebird was named New York's state bird in 1970.

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What to Watch for:


Bluebirds are about 7 inches long.


The male is bright blue with white undersides and a rust-colored breast. The female is grayish blue, but otherwise similar to the male.

Where to Watch:

Bluebirds nest in cavities in standing dead trees and in nesting boxes.
Nesting boxes are set on posts five to six feet off the ground and come in pairs (one for the bluebirds, the other for the competition). Bluebirds eat insects, seeds, and berries, so look for them in fields, meadows, and orchards.

Watch a clip about Bluebird Houses and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

What to Listen for:

A musical "chur-wi" or "tru-ly".

When to Watch:

Bluebirds may be present year-round. Most migrate to southern states in the fall, but they will winter in New York State if they can find enough food.

The Best Places to See Bluebird:

Click on the links below to get more information about each site.

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