New York state bird: Eastern BluebirdSialia sialis
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New York State Bird Description:
Size: 6 to 8 inches (16-21 cm)
Wingspan: 10 to 13 inches (25-32 cm)
Weight: .99 to 1.13 ounces (28-32 g)
The Eastern Bluebird is a medium-sized songbird. It is a beautiful, deep blue on all upperparts with redish-orange throat, sides of neck, breast and flanks. The belly and undertail are white. The bill is short and thin and the legs and feet are black. Females have the same colors as males only duller.
The Eastern bluebird lives in open woodlands, farmlands, orchards, parks, golf courses and suburban areas. The preferred nesting habitatsare open areas with few trees and forest edges.
Bluebirds build their nests in a natural tree cavity orabandoned woodpecker hole 3 to 20 feet above the ground. The nest is made from grass, plant stems, pine needles, hair and feathers. Breeding pairs will eagerly accept birdhousesas nesting sites.
The clutch will contain 3 to 6 eggs and incubation takes 16 to21 days.
A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the New York State Bird:
The Eastern Bluebird suffered largepopulation declines until the 1970's. This was due in part to loss of cavity nesting sites. The erection of nest boxes across the country has led to increased bluebird populations in many areas.
The male will attract a female by bringingnest materials to the cavity hole. He then goes in and out and waves his wings while perched above the hole. That is pretty much his contribution to nest building; only the female Eastern Bluebird builds the nest and incubates the eggs.
Bluebirds have more than one successfulbrood each year. Young birds from early nests usually leave their parents in summer, but young from later nests frequently stay with their parents over the winter.