Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThe male of the Eastern bluebird is blue above, with a reddish brown breast. The female is similar but duller in colouring. The young are also dull-coloured, with a streaked breast. ReproductionThe female builds a nest in an old woodpecker hole, a cavity in a tree or fence post, or a bird box. She lays 4 or 5 eggs, incubating them alone.Both parents feed the nestlings, which are able to fly after 17 or 18 days. The young are still dependent on their parents 3 weeks after their first flight. DietIn summer, eastern bluebirds mostly eat insects off the ground, including locusts, crickets and beetles, diving down after them from their perches. PredatorsThe adults are probably eaten by certain raptors. HabitatEastern bluebirds frequent various open habitats (pastures, fallow fields, orchards, gardens, meadows) where they find cavities for nesting and perches for hunting.They are found east of the Rockies, from southern Canada to the southern U.S., and in Mexico and northern Central America. Ecology, behaviourHumans have helped to cause the decline of the species by replacing cedar fence posts, which these birds used for their nests, with metal fence posts. Since being designated a vulnerable species, Eastern bluebirds have become more numerous in Québec, where they may produce two clutches a year. The many relatively mild winters since 1979 in their wintering grounds and the installation of nesting boxes in suitable habitats have contributed to the increase in their numbers. Only northern populations of these birds migrate. French nameMerlebleu de l'Est Scientific nameSialia sialisPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderPasseriformesFamilyTurdidaeSizeLength: 16.5 to 19 cmWeightAverage: 30 gLife spanRecord: 8 yearsStatusDesignated Special Concern in 1984. Status re-examined and designated Not at Risk in 1996 (COSEWIC).