Bluebird Breeding Pairs
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Summer 2012
Do bluebirds mate with only one mate all season?
I am not positive, but from what I know they will stick with the same mate for the season.
Field studies have indicated that a mated pair may attempt multiple nesting attempts for a season and maybe for life, however, this has not been verified to be true from season to season for eastern bluebirds. There seems to be conflicting information and statements made that are not substantiated on this subject. Many bird species have been observed to mate for life and so, this is common for birds. One indication that a pair will nest multiple times a season is the fact that the young from previous nest successes will help feed the young from subsequent nestings. This probably would not happen if both parents were not the same pair.
Monitoring bluebird nests over a period of four years, I have found some of the same females in my boxes, but i can not verify the male status.
Death of a pair member may result in changing partners of course.
Typically yes, a pair may stay together and possibly raise more than one brood in a season. If one of the pair should die the survivor might find another mate, and as we learn more about behavior we find that some birds will copulate with non-mates even while staying with their mate for the season. I don't know if that has been observed in bluebirds.
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Update: November 2011