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End of the 2012 Season: A Letter to our Supporters

Dear Bluebird Friends and Supporters,

I can’t believe that my sixth Bluebird Season has ended, and we have increased our restoration efforts tremendously!  We currently have trails and our Bluebird Babes at Hickory Hills Golf Course, Pine Meadow Golf Course, Eau Claire Golf and Country Club, Beaver Creek Reserve, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Children’s Nature Academy.  All are monitoring, maintaining, and restoring nature.

We had plenty of help from the Boy and Girl Scouts!  Shane Laudal established the trail at the UWEC Children’s Nature Academy in May.  Mitchel Abts mapped, repaired, and added more nest boxes at the Beaver Creek Reserve trail.  Owen Keys created a trail at the Eau Claire Golf and Country Club and prepared a beautiful video about our friend Larry Bennett and his Bluebird boxes.  We would like to thank Michaela Pittenger and Sara Liming for helping us educate children at the Academy and for preparing informational binders that went out to our different trails.

Shane Laudal at the UW-Eau Claire Children's Nature Academy.

Michel Abts mapping a Bluebird Trail.

Owen Keys at his Bluebird Trail.

Michaela Pittenger and Sara Liming at the UW-Eau Claire Children's Nature Academy.

Did we accomplish our goals this summer?  Well, the answer is yes and no!  We are still struggling with our nest cams.  Bridging nature and technology has shown others why we love our nest boxes and all the joy they bring.  The great outdoors have been a lot less stressful than our technology hiccups!

Students at the UW-Eau Claire Children's Nature Academy.

On the other hand, we were given the opportunity to lead a weekly lesson at the UWEC Children’s Nature Academy, using their Bluebird Trail.  While monitoring and talking about songbirds, we made many discoveries with the students.  Experiencing nature allowed us to understand predator and prey behavior, and we were able to touch topics ranging from art and music to graphing.  This facility was the perfect fit for our program as classes were in session during the songbird nesting season.  We hope to continue passing on these lessons throughout the rest of the year, and we have been learning about NestWatch’s other programs such as FeederWatch and YardMap.  We are also preparing a twelve week curriculum based on our projects and activities with the support of the teachers at the Academy.

Every choice of ours has a consequence.  Our choice to help restore songbirds using nest boxes and our time has only been a rewarding experience!  Working with our community to produce tangible results is a worthy goal indeed.

The Eau Claire Community has helped more than 215 songbirds fledge!


Shelly Sutley

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