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

Critters of the Night

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join JDCF on Saturday, October 2oth at 10:00 AM to 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 […] Read More

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Keynote Address: Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac & Fox Nation

November 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

To kick off JDCF’s Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium, Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation, will give a keynote speech on Friday evening at 7:00 PM at the Hanover Township Park District Building, 500 Fillmore Street, Hanover, IL.  There is a $10.00/person entrance fee for non-JDCF members.

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Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium

November 3 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

JDCF’s Wapello Reserve has many stories to tell about the native people who once inhabited the Mississippi River Driftless area. Exploration of Wapello’s broad terraces show that Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Euro-American peoples used the land along the Apple River over many millennia. These occupations left a rich record of artifacts, hearths, storage pits, […] Read More

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Potluck & Program – Citizen Science, Modern Technology & the Conservation of Nature

November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Charlie Blake, PhD biologist, will present on Citizen Science, Modern Technology and the Conservation of Nature. Charlie directs RiverWatch, an Illinois statewide citizen science program which monitors stream health. She will be giving an overview of popular phone apps including eBird and iNaturalist and web sites like FieldScope, which allow for far more accurate gathering […] Read More

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