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

Fall Forest Walk

September 30 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

With fall on the way, the appearance of trees changes significantly and identifying them can be tricky – unless you know your bark, berries, and  nuts. Join us to celebrate the change of season with a Fall Forest Walk at Schurmeier Teaching Forest. This free event will be led by expert staff and volunteers from […] Read More

Find out more »

Creatures of the Night: Owls & Bats

October 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn about some of our nocturnal friends, 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 get to dissect an […] Read More

Find out more »

The Return of Large Predators to the Midwest

November 11 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Our keynote speaker will be Adrian Wydeven, nationally-renowned timber wolf expert, based at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, in Ashland, WI. For more than 50 years, there were NO sightings of wolves in Illinois, but with declining habitat north of us, wolves have again been sighted since 2002, more in Jo Daviess […] Read More

Find out more »

Owl Prowl

December 2 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for an evening owl-prowl hike at Casper Bluff.  This year, we will be joined by the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center who will bring along a few of their feathered friends for an educational program and meet and greet with live owls before we head out on the trails. There will be […] Read More

Find out more »