The Bluebird is one of the most cherished songbirds in the US and has inspired poets, songwriters, playwrights and movie directors for over 100 years. People of all ages love Bluebirds and long to see more of them.
This is a “hands-on” guide to Bluebirds that provides practical knowledge and proven techniques to increase your chances of being successful with Bluebirds in your backyard. New, up-to-date techniques will be presented regarding habitat selection, building and installing nest boxes, monitoring techniques, planting flora for Bluebirds, and protecting them from predators.
Over 90 color photographs will enhance the story from the first page to the last. Even a chapter on how to grow their favorite snack, mealworms, is included. Getting involved with Bluebirds is not only a rewarding endeavor, but it can also be an excellent activity to share with your children or grandchildren while enjoying nature and the great outdoors.
My hope is that this book will inspire a new hobby or develop an appreciation for a special creation that God has given us to enjoy while on this earth, the Bluebird.
By Dean C. Rust
160 pages, Softcover
What people are saying about it
“The Beloved and Charismatic Bluebird” is a wonderful compendium of bluebird natural history, breeding behavior, and basic “how-to” information for anyone interested in establishing their own bluebird trail, or who simply wants to attract these fascinating birds into their yards. It includes detailed instructions on everything from blueprints for a variety of different nest box designs, predator guards for keeping the nestlings and parents safe, advice on box placement, instructions on proper box mounting, monitoring and maintenance, to how to raise mealworms for feeding, and my favorite, gardening to support local songbird populations, including bluebirds.
The book is well written and the instructions practical, clear, and very easy to follow. The author includes fun and interesting anecdotes based on his own extensive experiences establishing and maintaining trails of bluebird boxes in Pennsylvania. The book contains clearly labeled illustrations of box plans and thoroughly engaging pictures of bluebird parents, eggs, and nestlings. Particularly helpful for those monitoring boxes are pictures of the nests and eggs of various songbird species that may be found using nest boxes.
As an avian researcher with experience monitoring nests of all three bluebird species, I appreciated the extensive experience and research that was required to produce this book. It is hard to imagine a more complete and practical guide to successfully attracting and maintaining bluebirds. Although I have done so for years, I still learned new and useful information from reading it. This book is a “must-have” for bluebird enthusiasts, novice to expert, alike.”
Judith Guinan, Ph D.
Professor of Biology, Radford University
“I have read and re-read your book. I have also re-read topics of special interest from the index. My only thought is that it is WONDERFUL! This will be of special interest to any new Bluebird enthusiast and is a great “start to finish” handbook. This is a great book, thorough with information, very well illustrated and a book that I am proud to have in my Bluebird library! It is my plan to share your book with my Board members. Thank you very much!”
Immediate Past President North Carolina Bluebird Society
“This is a gorgeous book. The photos are some of the prettiest I have ever seen of our beloved Bluebirds. Hat’s off to all the photographers. The information you included in your book is very interesting, and of course very useful. It’s nice to have the background of our Bluebirds, to set the stage so to speak. I have people ask me “what’s so special about these birds?” Your background info tells about their almost demise and how they have come back because of people knowing how special these birds are and wanting to save them for future generations to enjoy.”
President, Florida Bluebird Society
“Dear Dean, one word describes your book – Awesome ! What a wonderful book. Your love of bluebirds is truly demonstrated in your writings of this book. Its a complete detailed surrounding aspects of the Eastern Bluebird in every way. There was a lot of work put into this amazing book, Congratulations Dean you did an awesome job and I have a signed edition too. Also I am so thrilled that one of my photos made it in your book too. (pg.85 house sparrow attack.) We should definitely add this book on our BSP Website too. Is there a way we could put the front and back cover of this book on our Website ? if so, let me know. Your book is a complete experience of the Eastern Bluebird that will help not only the beginner blue-birder but the experience blue-birder as well.”
BSP Webmaster at thebsp.org & Meeting Place Manager & Speaker Bureau Chairman
“Monitoring blue bird houses and building trails is a terrific activity, one that I encourage people of all ages to do. I am fortunate to be on the bluebird team at Longwood Gardens with several other enthusiastic birders overseeing 190 houses, all built and installed by volunteers. We met with Dean Rust who further inspired us as well as with his book, The Beloved and Charismatic Bluebird, provided us with a wealth of information and suggestions as to ways to further advance our program and bluebird success. Of particular interest in his book are the chapters on house sparrows and nest box predator guards, both so important if you want to see successful bluebirds fledging from your boxes.
Dean provides in depth details as to how to monitor and build bluebird trails, with an emphasis on understanding the responsibly of proper technique and awareness of the natural threats to the success of increasing your bluebird population. As a result of hearing Rust’s comments on predators as well as reading his book, our Longwood team is now more aware of predators and are taking proactive measures to guard against them. This includes installing stovepipe baffles as well as trapping and relocating the bluebird’s #1 enemy the house sparrow. As a result we are already seeing an increase in successful fledgings and excited about our program’s future in seeing the growing population of bluebirds in our gardens.”
Volunteer at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
“Just what I was looking for to help me with my first successful blue bird family in my back yard. The BB house had been unoccupied and ignored for many years, to my dismay. This book is very informative with methods to attract Bluebirds to your yard, feeding and house preferences, box monitoring, and predator control. I was able to enjoy watching 3 different hatchings from one box this summer with help from this enjoyable book with many photos. I highly recommend.”
“Provides comprehensive information about bluebirds, and also a wealth of practical information for anyone who wants to put up and maintain bluebird boxes. This is a complete “how-to-do-it” manual for designing, installing and maintaining bluebird boxes. It is clearly and engagingly written, and includes many wonderful color photographs of bluebirds. The author’s love of bluebirds shines through.”
“Useful, instructional and fun. Even if you’re not already a bluebird fan, this book will win you over. Outstanding. Especially informative about deterring predators.”