MONITOR THE MAGIC! IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

Want a Bluebird Experience in your own backyard?

Follow the chart below to find out what’s the best fit for your lifestyle!


Am I ready to commit to a long term hobby of happiness?

Once a bluebird nest is installed and chosen by mating bluebirds, it's a gift that keeps on giving. Bluebirds will come back to the nestbox season after season to give birth. This means every Bluebird Spring (April-August), your nestbox should be monitored every 4-6 days. Nestboxes may also need to be replaced every two years due to weathering, damage, and bird action.


         If yes, continue down to next question.


         If no, follow a bird cam, follow a birding site/blog on Facebook, take community tours of nestbox trails. Get your bird fix without the commitment!


Do I have the right habitat?

Bluebirds prefer open, grassy fields, suburban parks, and places like golf courses. A perfect backyard should be spacious, away from traffic, and have safe perch sites for the bluebird parents.


         If yes, continue down to next question.


         If no, become a bluebird babe! If your backyard isn’t an ideal habitat for bluebirds, that’s OK! Bluebird Experience has eight trails in the Chippewa Valley and is always looking for volunteers to help monitor the magic.


Will I upload my nestbox data onto Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch?

Bluebird Experience is proud to be part of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch. NestWatch is a nationwide monitoring program intended to “be used to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals.” (https://nestwatch.org/about/overview/) You could either utilize NestWatch.org to make a profile for your nestbox or utilize their extremely user friendly mobile app (“NestWatch by the Cornell Lab” in the App Store). All it takes is developing a profile, placing your nestbox(es) on the map, and documenting each of your monitoring visits. This will help you keep track of your songbird guests and help Cornell Lab learn more about the environment, bird population, and changes in our area. The NestWatch partnership truly is making you a citizen scientist!



Am I ready to acquire the knowledge regarding nestbox monitoring/maintenance?

Monitoring nestboxes leads to many beautiful and fulfilling moments of watching songbirds grow. It also requires knowledge and safety information. Keep this website handy (https://nestwatch.org/learn/how-to-nestwatch/code-of-conduct/) to ensure you are following safety protocol and local/federal laws when monitoring. 


Do I have what it takes to fight off predators?

At Bluebird Experience, we like to think of our nestboxes and trails as a 5 Star Bed and Breakfast – this makes you their landlord! We need to ensure our Bluebird guests are happy, safe, and in a fruitful environment. House Sparrows (HoSp) are a huge problem for Bluebirds and other cavity nesting songbirds. House Sparrows will fight off or even kill bluebirds to take over a nestbox.  At times, it is so extreme that House Sparrows will build their nest ON TOP OF the bluebird they just killed. The reason monitoring is so important is to prevent the reproduction of House Sparrow babies. This means, if a House Sparrow were to inhabit your box, protocol must be followed. As a Bluebird Landlord, you must be equipped with the knowledge of what to do and be ready to take matters into your own hands. 


If yes, you’re ready! What are the next step?


If no, consider learning more about the negative impact House Sparrows have on our native songbird population. 


Next steps: Purchase a nestbox (or build one), place in ideal location, and monitor the magic!

Eau Claire, WI

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