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

Upcoming Events

JDCF Annual Meeting

April 7 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The public is invited to JDCF’s annual meeting on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 beginning with a social hour at 4:30 PM.  Our keynote speaker will be Jon Greendeer, Former President and current Executive Director of Heritage Preservation of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  Jon is a proud member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a student of the Ho-Chunk […] Read More

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Fantastic Frogs & Friends Frog Walk

April 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bring the whole family to Fantastic Frogs & Friends, a frog walk beginning on the east side of the Meeker Street footbridge along the Galena River Trail in downtown Galena, IL. Learn all about frogs and toads, join us in a toast to spring, and then take part in a guided hike down the trail […] Read More

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Bluebird & Red-headed Woodpecker Workshop

April 28 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Details to come.

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JDCF’s Portage Site: A Center of Native American History

May 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join archaeologist Phil Millhouse and Chloris Lowe, former President of the Ho-Chunk Nation, for a guided tour of JDCF’s Portage Preserve including the Hopewell burial mounds.  Portage is not open to the public and so this is a rare opportunity to learn about the site from our expert tour leaders.  RSVP’s to are required […] Read More

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