The winter has been rough this year, but the Bluebirds are still around. The Eastern Bluebirds don’t always leave the area for warmer pastures. If they can find sources of food, shelter, and water, they will chill out in your back yard.
One of our volunteers sent these photos from his home. As you can see, this Bluebird was taking advantage of the bounty still on the branches of this ornamental pear.
If you would like to have Bluebirds winter over in your area, consider planting berry-bearing trees and shrubs, such as Highbush Cranberry, Holly, Sumac, Flowering Dogwood, and Hawthorns to name a few. They will find shelter in many evergreens or empty nest boxes and roosting boxes.
Consider adding some of these elements to your yard, and you may just find a little blue to brighten up your winter days.
Since we changed the name of our organization to honor our founder the late Len Anderson, we had to make a few changes to our site. Of course, that meant we also had to change our logo.
I was able to apply the changes to our old logo without modifying the theme.
This new logo will display on our site, pamphlets, and most importantly, the signage on the nest boxes that we monitor.
The signs contain contact information in case someone finds the nest box damaged or if they are interested in helping our organization.
It has been an interesting year for our little group of Bluebird lovers. There was lots of activity at our boxes this year. Here are the quick stats of 2018:
We were lucky to have 15 Bluebird nesting attempts. Eight of those attempts resulted in at least one Bluebird fledgling. The total number of Bluebirds that fledged from our boxes in 2018 was 30. This total is a bit less than last year, but we made some changes to some nestboxes that may have contributed to the dip in number. Other factors that we take into account are weather, parasites, and predators.
We got a late start with our nest boxes this year due to the crazy weather, but we are busy now. We had to do some extra spring maintenance this year. Some of our boxes were older and damaged.
We are checking our boxes regularly for any nesting signs, not to mention evicting House Sparrows. We have some trouble areas, but we hope to nip them in the bud fast. Here are the latest stats on our boxes.
We still have snow on the ground, but The Clarence Bluebird Trail is getting ready for spring. I spent a sunny but chilly afternoon checking all of our nest boxes for winter damage. Some of our boxes were easily accessible while others required me to don my snowshoes. After schlepping approximately four miles, I have a list of repairs and possible plans for this year.
Owners of Bluebird nestboxes should check the condition of the boxes in early spring. Birds are already scoping out nesting sites, and a damaged box will look unappealing to prospective tenants. In western New York, winters can wreak havoc on the boxes.
Well, folks, the breeding season has come to a close and our little Bluebirds are getting ready for winter. Like every year, we had successes and failures. Most of our failures are due to nature’s fury and there isn’t much we can do about it. Our job is to provide appropriate nest boxes for the birds and monitor them regularly to get data and we seem to be doing a good job at that.
Our annual end of the year meeting is scheduled for 10 AM on September 28 at Zion Lutheran Church, 9535 Clarence Center Rd, Clarence Center, NY 14032. We will highlight our stats and practices used during the year. I took some time to check our data and create some graphs for the meeting. Since this is the Clarence Bluebird Trail’s 5th year of monitoring, I decided to create some graphs to show trends over time. If you’re interested in seeing all of the data, please feel free to join us at the meeting.
Well, after collecting a lot of data, we can show off some of our numbers. Our feathered friends came out early this year, and there have been many successful nest attempts. A successful attempt is when at least one bird fledges from the nest. Of course, we hope for more.
We currently monitor 16 Bluebird (Sialia sialis) nest boxes in the Town of Clarence. We removed two boxes last year plagued by House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). We hope to house Bluebirds, but the boxes are great for other beneficial cavity nesters. We frequently find House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon), Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), and Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).
The birds started nesting in early April. Here are our stats so far:
We had our first meeting of 2017, but that doesn’t mean the birds waited for us. Even before we sat down to discuss plans for some of our boxes and review our previous year’s stats, the birds were busy making nests and laying eggs. The weather has been nice, so I can’t blame them. The birds got a head start on us, and we have to play catch up.
We temporarily reduced the number of our nest boxes. House Sparrows inundated the two at the local library, so we wanted to prevent them from using them. As soon as we find a new location for them, we will let you know.
If this crazy weather has you wondering when spring will arrive, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering when the Bluebirds will return, well, some may already be here looking for the perfect home to start their family.
Spring officially won’t begin for a couple of weeks, but the wildlife don’t use the same type of calendar that we do. Warmer temperatures will entice migratory birds back to their breeding grounds. So that means The Clarence Bluebird Trail needs to get ready.
Our 2017 Spring Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, at 10:00 AM. We will meet at Zion Lutheran Church, 9535 Clarence Center Road, Clarence Center, NY, to discuss our new year of nest box monitoring. All are welcome.
At our meeting, you can get information on our monitoring program. You can learn:
- what type of nest box is best for Eastern Bluebirds
- how and where to install the nest box
- how to identify various species, their nests, and eggs
- how to monitor the birds during the breeding season
- what type of data we collect
- how we help with Eastern Bluebird conservation in Western New York
If you would like to join our organization but are unable to attend the meeting, please feel free to contact us. We can arrange some time to instruct you and pair you up with a bird buddy if you don’t already have one.
We are always happy to have volunteers join us in our conservation mission. After all…it’s for the birds.
Well, here they are. We have the results of this year’s nest box data. Honestly, I hate to close out the year. We did well with our Bluebird (Sialia sialis) fledgling numbers, and I was hoping our group could meet to review them. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts prevented that.
Therefore, along with the regular stats, I thought I would include some charts to show the progress of The Clarence Bluebird Trail over the last few years.