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

Experience Gateway Park – A Walking Tour

October 3 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Galena Gateway Park

Join JDCF and Field Museum staff for a guided tour of Gateway Park.  The walk will take place on mowed trails over rolling terrain.  We will meet in the parking lot off of Powderhouse Hill Rd at 1:00 PM.  The event is free and RSVP’s are not required.

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Potluck & Program, “Pests to Protein: Insects & Our Food”

October 5 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Woodbine Bend Golf Course

Going back to the plagues of ancient times, insects have threatened our food.  In today’s gardens and fields, the state-of-the-art method of control is called Integrated Pest Management.  Which bugs are really a threat?  And when and how should we control them?  Our experts will tell you. …  And what about the food value of […] Read More

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Creatures of the Night – Owls & Bats

October 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Belden School, GTA

Bring the family and explore the nocturnal lives of owls and bats.  This program, geared towards a middle school grade level, introduces the life cycle of the owl and its food and habitat.  It also identifies the characteristics that make the owl a perfect predator and member of the raptor family.  Participants will also get […] Read More

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Public Presentation on Archaeological Findings at Wapello

November 13 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Hanover Township Park District Building

Join Dr. Phil Millhouse and Tim Horsley, Ph.D. Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University,  to learn about the results of the archaeological survey conducted at the addition to the Wapello Reserve in 2015.  The event is free and RSVP’s are not required.  Local artifact collections will be on hand as well.

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