Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Bluebird Boxes 

MVFN bluebird boxes are built by volunteers and are based on the Peterson oval design. They are the results of a real community effort. The Naismith Men’s Shed cut materials and organized them into kits. Participants at the Mississippi Youth Centre assembled the current batch of boxes. Proceeds from the sales of these boxes are directed towards conservation projects.

Studies show that the Peterson oval design is more user-friendly to the Eastern bluebird and has a lower mortality rate than other designs. The truncated conical shape of the nesting cavity reduces the requirement for nesting material; hence less energy is expended by the nester. The thick wooden back and roof acts as a thermal barrier to shield the young from temperature extremes. The oblong entrance hole is the correct dimension for bluebirds and the angled front discourages predators. The front opens for cleaning.



Establishing Peterson Bluebird Boxes (Houses)

The house should be located in the open, away from shrubs and trees, with the entrance opening 5-6 feet from the ground and with the entrance facing away from the prevailing winds. Bluebird boxes should be mounted in pairs, about ten to twelve feet apart. Tree swallows and chickadees often take over one box but won’t tolerate another family of swallows nearby. However, they have no issues with bluebirds.

There are many keys to long-term success with these boxes, especially location, location, location! Please refer to the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society website at for more detailed advice.

The import from Europe of the starling and the English house sparrow in the latter part of the nineteenth century saw these cavity dwellers take over much of the availability of nesting holes that the bluebirds needed. Man’s intervention with man-made bluebird nesting homes helped greatly to re-establish these beautiful songbirds into our area. Many of the Peterson Bluebird boxes constructed and sold by MVFN have gone to property owners who have space to establish a bluebird trail. Other rural applications are possible, including establishment within and around a series of apple trees, the birds’ favourite habitat.

At first, tree swallows and chickadees (photo below by Gloria Opzoomer) made MVFN Peterson bluebird houses their home at Gloria Opzoomer’s, but Gloria eventually reported eggs and baby bluebirds in the houses.

Chicadee 'chicks' in Bluebird nest box 021

 To Purchase an MVFN Peterson Bluebird House

To purchase one of the MVFN Bluebird Boxes, please contact the Chair of Conservation and Habitat: .