Bluebird recovery project: Helping Bluebirds since 1991.

Male Bluebird -Baird

Male Bluebird -Baird

Three species of the North American Bluebird were near extinction just 20 years ago due to habitat loss and the introduction of the highly aggressive European starling and house sparrow. To add to the nesting woes, people cut down trees to make way for urban sprawl. In the country, farmers installed metal posts as replacement for old wooden fence posts, which contained nesting cavities. The Natural Area Guardians began a Bluebird Recovery Program in 1991 with just 25 nest boxes. Since then, the number of bluebirders has expanded. Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, the bluebird population in the county has increased significantly.

With its gentle ways, beautiful song and colors of the sky, the bluebird won the heart of many people, who experimented with designs of nest boxes for them. The eastern bluebird needs a hole exactly 1.5 inches in diameter, the other bluebird species slightly larger.

The two most important factors in successful bluebirding:

MONITORING: checking the boxes regularly to insure success.

HABITAT: the proper placing of the box.

People can provide nest boxes along country roads and in rural yards. Bluebirds prefer open areas with short grass — away from wooded and brushy areas which attract the people-friendly, but aggressive House Wren.

People must also consider other predators, such as house cats and raccoons. That’s why it’s a good idea to use predator guards on the nest box poles.

Various designs of bluebird boxes offer varying levels of safety to bluebirds. You can obtain a box plan that provides optimal safety by contacting Wild Birds Unlimited or the North American Bluebird Society.

For more information, contact info@nulljdcf.org

Upcoming Events

The Prairie Enthusiasts 2017 Annual Conference

March 4

JDCF is co-hosting this annual, one-day conference with the Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts.  The theme will be Landscapes of the Future: Challenges & Opportunities. Two keynote speakers will be Jeff Walk of The Nature Conservancy, speaking on “Climate Change & Habitat Preservation & Restoration” and Bob Palmer of the Effigy Mounds National Monument, speaking on “Fertile Ground […] Read More

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Popcorn & Program: FIRE, the Science of Prairie Restoration Burns

March 18 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Learn about the important role fire plays in the prairie ecosystem from our own Director of Land Stewardship, Ryan Getz. This “Popcorn & Program” is at the Galena Territory Association on Saturday, March 18 at 6:30 PM with the program beginning at 7:00 PM. As a follow up, all are welcome to come out in April […] Read More

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JDCF Annual Meeting

April 1 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Join fellow JDCF members and our guest speaker, botanical artist, George Olson, at our annual meeting.  Mr. Olson will have some of his work on site.  We will also be honoring John & Barbara Rutherford as recipients of the 2017 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award.

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Calling All Volunteers – River Clean Up

April 22 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

The annual Mississippi River Clean Up will take place from 8 am until 3:30 pm at Gear’s Ferry Landing south of Galena. Individuals and families with older children are welcome.   This event is generously sponsored by Chestnut Mountain Resort. Boats and shovels are needed. Anyone who provides a boat for the day will be reimbursed […] Read More

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