Image via WikipediaHowever, young bluebirds can still recognize their family just like we recognize our family members. They tend to stay together and join other bird families to form winter flocks. These flocks can be as large as 100 birds but typically range from 5 to 20 birds.
Image via WikipediaThen in the spring, the young will move from the parental territories eventually to another location before choosing a mate. This is called natal dispersal and reduces the chances of inbreeding.
The increase of hormones before breeding season stimulates the young birds to become more active, forage further away from home, and discover new territories. Records show that the females tend to disperse farther than the males. The average distance is about 0.7 miles for males and 0.9 miles for the females.
Unfortunately the mortality rate for the young Eastern Bluebirds is 50 percent. However, if the birds make it through their first year, their chances in survival increase. Then their average lifespan is 6 to 10 years. Humans can have a positive or negative impact on the bluebirds. From the late 1800s to the 1960s, Eastern Bluebirds’ population declined almost 90% because of loss of habitat. However, since 1966 the population has increased 2.4% each year due to nesting boxes, better landscaping, and bird feeding practices.