Monday, March 14, 2011

Eastern Bluebirds at Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary



On Sunday, 3/13/2011, Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary held and information' workshop and walk about the Eastern bluebird. This workshop was to demonstrate to people how to put up, maintain and monitor bluebird boxes and also to get people to volunteer to help the Audubon sanctuary monitor there bluebird boxes. The session was led by Laurent and Becky of the sanctuary staff.




Lauren demonstrated the different types of bluebird boxes, methods of placing them in the ground, the appropriate height for the bluebird boxes and what else is needed to maintain them.





We went out to look at a few of the bluebird boxes that are on the sanctuary. We opened a couple of the boxes cleaned out the old nests and made him ready for a new year.

Bluebir Nest


There were discussion on where to place the boxes and what to look out for, such as wasp so Yellowjackets, aunts, mice and predators such as a house sparrow. We also learnt that it be great to have two boxes near each other, one containing a bluebird and the other a tree swallow. The reason for this is Eastern bluebirds are not aggressive, but the tree swallows, and tend to protect both boxes.
One of the most common problems affecting the nest thing bluebirds is the English or house sparrow, they are very aggressive in taking over boxes and need to be discouraged.

Besides putting up bluebird boxes, there also boxes placed on the sanctuary for house wrens, the only difference is the size of the opening, the house ran opening is much smaller than what is needed for the bluebird.



When we were returning from the walk, there was a bluebird investigating the new bluebird house that was put up that morning. In the trees, there was two males and a female bluebird present. Hopefully this is a forecast of more bluebirds to come and another great year for increasing the bluebird population.

Eastern Bluebird -female
Eastern Bluebird - male
Eastern Bluebird - male


Since 1988, the local bluebirds have fledged 867 new youngsters. The sanctuary's bluebird program is part of a nationwide cavity-nest a conservation effort, and they shift data with the surrounding towns, other state and national groups. They keep track of how many eggs the birds lay, the number young. They fledged and how many losses they sustained. They also collect information or predators effects of pesticides, weather events and bird-diseases like West Nile virus.

For those readers who are in the Westport, Dartmouth and Tiverton area of of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and would like to participate in this program you can contact Allens Pond Sanctuary at 508-636-2437 or by e-mail allenspond@massaudubon.org .

An excellent resource is http://www.sialis.org/