Top 4 Keys to Having Bluebirds in Your Yard

Sep. 29, 2015

Marne Titchenell, like so many people, likes bluebirds.

“Bluebird populations at one time were very low,” said the wildlife expert from The Ohio State University. “But because farmers and other landowners started putting up nest boxes, bluebird populations are now doing well.

“When I see a bluebird, I’m reminded that the everyday individual can make a big difference in the conservation of a species.”

Titchenell will talk about making such a difference to bluebirds at Farm Science Review, which is Sept. 22-24 in London, Ohio.

The wildlife program specialist, who works in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will present “Bluebirds Bios” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Sept. 22 in the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area.

The Review is an annual farm trade show sponsored by the college.

Give them what they want

“We’ll be discussing the history of bluebirds in Ohio, bluebird habitat — what they’re looking for — and how to attract them to your property,” Titchenell said.

She said she’ll cover four must-haves to have bluebirds:

  • The right amount of space to hunt insects, their main kind of food.
  • The right kind of plants. (Hint: Go native.)
  • Things called “snags.”
  • The right kind of nest boxes, in the right places, and protected, monitored and cleaned the right way.

“I’ll spend the majority of the talk talking about nest boxes, including where to put them, how to manage them and how to troubleshoot problems, like keeping out house sparrows,” she said.

Say no to house sparrows

House sparrows, which aren’t native to Ohio or North America, can take over bluebird boxes, destroy bluebirds’ eggs and even kill the birds’ young.

Titchenell’s talk is one of many set for the Review’s 67-acre Gwynne Conservation Area. Find a complete list at The area is part of the site of the Review, the college’s 2,100-acre Molly Caren Agricultural Center.

Details about the Review overall, including activities, ticket prices and hours, are at Some 130,000 people are expected to attend.