When Do Bluebirds Nest and Lay Eggs?

Updated: Jan. 07, 2021

Learn what time of year when bluebirds nest, what bluebird eggs look like, and how many broods these colorful songbirds raise in a year.

bluebird nest and baby bluebirdCourtesy Ann Conway
Baby bluebird in a nest

“When do bluebirds nest, and how many times can bluebirds nest in one year? I have one bluebird house that is being used for the third time this year. The first brood had six eggs and the second nest had four eggs. She’s still tending the third nest which had four eggs,” asks Francis Coverdale of Woodbine, New Jersey.

Having bluebirds nesting in your yard is such a special treat. It’s great that yours have been so successful—a sign that your yard is bluebird-friendly! Bluebirds begin scouting out nest boxes as early as late February, or even earlier in the south. If conditions are favorable, they sometimes continue nesting into August or even September. Do birds reuse their nests?

bluebird eggs and hatchlingCourtesy Heather Parker
Bluebird eggs and a hatchling

Bluebird Eggs

Typically bluebirds lay fewer eggs in a clutch later in the season, as you observed. The number of broods depends on many factors, including weather and food supply. Most bluebird pairs raise one or two broods per season, but some raise three broods, rarely even four or five. Bluebird eggs are a little larger and a deeper blue than robin eggs. Eastern bluebirds found in the north and west reaches of their range tend to lay more eggs.

Bluebirds form close knit families. Young birds from the first brood often help out with other broods by gathering food for their siblings. What do bluebirds eat in winter?

While bluebirds do use nesting boxes, they also often nest in abandoned woodpecker cavities up to 50 feet off the ground. Learn where to place a bluebird nest box.

Want to help bluebirds? Here’s how to become a volunteer bluebird monitor.