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 Eastern Bluebird

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Eastern Bluebird.

Use the links below to view the Eastern Bluebird reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Eastern Bluebird sightings.
Eastern Bluebird Archives Reports
Fall 2003 120
Spring 2003 158
Winter 02-03 272
Fall 2002 400
Summer 2002 41
Spring 2002 238
Winter 01-02 121
Fall 2001 200
Summer 2001 34
Spring 2001 150
Winter 00-01 245
Fall 2000 72
Summer 2000 56
Spring 2000 192
Winter 00-99 77
Fall 1999 134
Spring/Summer 1999 28

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Eastern Bluebird

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Eastern Bluebird
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Eastern Bluebird
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Sialia sialis sialis (Linnaeus)
Eastern Bluebird

Common summer resident. Recorded in winter from Washtenaw, Wayne, Kalamazoo, and Monroe counties.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 413) : "Sialia Wilsonii."

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in southern counties during the first half of March, and in the Upper Peninsula in late March or early April.

Lower Peninsula.-Main flight begins on the average in the Toledo-Erie marsh area on March 12, the earliest date being February 20, 2023 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 206). Swales recorded Bluebirds in the Detroit area by mid-March or earlier (50 on March 6, 1893; 30 on March 13, 2023); observers have noted them in the Ann Arbor region in February and early March (early records include: 3 seen February 14, 1915; 2 February 21, 1920; and 5 on February 22, 2023), but larger numbers were reported later in the month (30, on March 29, 1939, by John L. George). In the 1930's L. H. Walkinshaw found the species arriving in Calhoun County occasion- ally in late February, more usually in early March. Flocks of 10 to 25 birds were noted on Sand Point, Huron County, by D. W. Douglass between mid- April and late May (1931 to 1933).

Upper Peninsula.-There are few spring reports from the northern part of the state. Bryens recorded the species at McMillan, Luce County, in late March or early April (1 on March 25, 1928; 1 on April 2, 1925; 2 on April 12,2023).

SUMMER.-Although nests with eggs or young have been reported from early April to early August, the chief breeding period is in May, June, and early July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales recorded a number of nests in the vicinity of Detroit, chiefly in May and early June (May 2, 1891, nest with 5 eggs; May 26, 1889, nest with 4 young; June 8, 1889, nest with 2 eggs). Van Tyne found 2 nests, each with 4 eggs, in the Ann Arbor area, 1 on April 18, 1923, 1 on July 27, 1926. A few nesting pairs were noted in Berrien County by N. A. Wood (1922: 35), and an exceptionally early nest with 4 eggs was found by F. W. Rapp (1931: 34) at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on April 4, 1898. Q. A. Ammann observed a pair nesting at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 26,1940, and N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911:307) found a few pairs nesting in northwestern Huron County in 1908. Chaney (1910: 279) listed the species as rather common in Mason County; N. A. Wood and Frothingham (1905: 54) recorded it as very common and breeding in Oscoda County. In Charlevoix County, Barrows (1904: 81) noted a few pairs of Bluebirds on Beaver Island, and Van Tyne (1925: 627) found the species common on the mainland. Nests with eggs have been recorded in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937), from June 29 to July 11 and nests with young from July 4 to July 25.

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 25) listed the Bluebird as a common breeder on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County, and N. A. Wood (1914: 73) found a nest with 3 young about ready to leave on June 25 at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County. Bryens has observed fledglings at McMillan, Luce County, usually after the middle of June (June 13, 1934; July 8, 2023) ; Christofferson has recorded a number of nests from the vicinity of Blaney, Schoolcraft County, in June and July (June 11, 1941, nest with 5 eggs; July 19,1933, nest with 4 eggs). The species has been observed in the vicinity of Whitefish Lake, Alger County (N. A. Wood, 1918: 15); at Brown Lake, Dickinson County (F. M. Gaige, 1914: 91) ; and also in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 188). John L. George and R. L. Patterson saw 10 Bluebirds in southwestern Iron County on July 21, 1938. N. A. Wood (1933: 733) recorded the arrival of a flock at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 26, 1931; he listed the species as an occasional resident there. On Isle Royale Max M. Peet (1909:386) found a nest and 3 newly-fledged young August 18, 1905.

FALL.-The species leaves the Upper Peninsula in early October and the Lower Peninsula usually by mid-October.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909o: 104) observed migrants on Isle Royale during late August and on September 11 and 12. In 1934 Trautman recorded the species at Sidnaw, Houghton County (22 on October 1), at Trout Creek, Ontonagon County (23 on October 4), and near Covington, Baraga County (18 on October 5). At Deer Park, Luce County, R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker observed 12 Bluebirds on September 1, 1936, and 25 on August 31, 1938. Christofferson has recorded considerable numbers at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, noting 45 on September 21, 1937; 50 on September 26, 1937; and 4 on October 22, 1930.

Lower Peninsula.-A flock of 12 was seen near Lincoln, Alcona County, by J. Claire Wood (1913: 20) on October 8, and 3 individuals were noted at Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, by Trautman on October 10, 1938.

F. W. Rapp (1931: 34) recorded the species at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on November 6,1911, and Leonard Wing saw 12 near South Haven, Van Buren County, on September 19, 1931. Swales found large numbers in the vicinity of Detroit during October, but noted only a few after the end of the month. Some of his records are as follows: 30 on October 3, 1907;12 on October 7, 1906; 50 on October 8, 1911; and 25 on October 19, 1909. L. W. Campbell (1940: 192, 206) has noted that most of the Bluebirds have left the Toledo-Erie marsh area by the middle of October, although he has regularly found a few present until the first few days of November.

WINTER.-F. W. Rapp (1931: 34) observed the species at Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on February 16, 1911; Swales (1904: 42-43) saw 1 at Detroit on December 8, and L. W. Campbell reported 1 at North Cape, Monroe County, on December 5, 1937. Bluebirds have been seen several times during the winter at Ann Arbor: 1 on December 21 by Duncan and Wadsworth (1936: 71); 1 on January 5, 1933, by T. D. Hinshaw; 6 on January 15,1936, by James H. Wood; and 1 on February 3, 1931, by N. A. Wood.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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