Bluebirds, often seen twittering around a princess in Disney movies, are pleasing to both the eye and spirit. No wonder they are considered a symbol of happiness.
"People enjoy watching them because of their beauty," said David Stone, vice president of the Chattanooga chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.
While bluebirds are not any more beneficial to a garden than their feathered friends, they do eat plant-destroying insects.
Thirty years ago bluebirds were rare in the area, Stone said. Then nest boxes became popular.
"The bluebirds have made a dramatic comeback," he said.
Manmade boxes in which birds can build nests, nest boxes attract winged friends by offering them a place to build a home.
Stone offered some tips on creating and placing nest boxes specifically for bluebirds.
1) Create a wood box about six inches in height and depth and nine inches in width.
2) For bluebirds, the hole in the nest box should be an inch and a half in diameter. Otherwise, larger birds might try to take over the box.
3) Place your nest box in a fairly open area of your yard.
4) Bluebirds are primarily insect eaters, but there's no need to place insects in the box to attract them - they'll just eat the bugs that they find feeding on your plants.
5) Keep your eyes peeled; bluebirds live in Chattanooga year-round, Stone said.