Bluebird Monitoring

Volunteers Encourage Return of the Bluebirds

In spring 2023, we started back up bluebird monitoring at Indian Creek Nature Center with the support of a handful of dedicated volunteers. The monitoring season ran from April thru September and the volunteers were amazing.

Bluebird chicks in nest

There were three sets of trail routes with bluebird boxes placed, and volunteers for each trail to manage the boxes. There were two locations at Amazing space and one at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm. Volunteers involved would walk their designated trail with bluebird boxes once a week to check on nests and record data on what was happening in each box. The goal of the monitoring was to see if the bluebirds were returning to the area.

Bluebird populations have been devastated from a variety of challenges – from urban sprawl eliminating their preferred spaces to noise pollution making communication difficult. One of the biggest challenges to restoring bluebird populations is providing enough nesting areas. As their habitats shrunk competition with other birds, particularly non-natives species like starlings, further complicating the bluebird’s ability to feed and nest.

Bluebird nest
Photos courtesy of bluebird monitoring volunteer Matt Bailey.

A positive human intervention that has proven to help bluebirds is setting up nesting boxes in prairies, pastures, parks and in some cases backyards. The nesting boxes at Indian Creek Nature Center have worked to encourage more bluebirds in the area. We successfully had 10 bluebird chicks fledge their nests! We had other species of birds nest and fledge from the boxes as well, mainly house wrens.

We look forward to another season of bluebird monitoring in spring 2024. Thank you to our 2023 volunteers Jamie Stolley, Christina Van Roekel, Mark Kopecky, and the Bailey Family!

If you want to contribute to our land restoration projects getting started is easy. Sign up to become a volunteer and we’ll get you busy caring for the more than 500 acres of land we steward and the wildlife that depend on it.

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