Hey, bluebirds — good to have you back!

Posted March 17, 2009 at 1:15 am by

Baby bluebird

Baby blue­bird

You already knew about the blue­bird re-intro­duc­tion project…here’s more from Kath­leen at the Preser­va­tion Trust:

A “Wel­come Back Blue­birds” nest­ing con­test has been announced by the San Juan Islands West­ern Blue­bird Rein­tro­duc­tion Project. The con­test will acknowl­edge the first mem­ber of the island com­mu­ni­ty to have a West­ern blue­bird nest on their prop­er­ty (in a nest box or in a nat­ur­al cav­i­ty). “We hope this con­test will encour­age islanders to notice and report nest­ing activ­i­ty of the rein­tro­duced blue­birds and their off­spring,” said Kath­leen Foley, Direc­tor of Edu­ca­tion for the San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust. The win­ner of the con­test will win a cedar blue­bird nest box and a West­ern Blue­bird Rein­tro­duc­tion Project hat.

2009 may be the best year ever for spot­ting a West­ern blue­bird. After an amaz­ing­ly suc­cess­ful year in 2008, in which over two dozen juve­nile birds were hatched on San Juan Island, the like­li­hood of birds return­ing from their win­ter­ing grounds and nest­ing in the islands are quite good. Sev­er­al sight­ings on San Juan and Orcas Islands have already been reported.

Look for these bright­ly-col­ored birds near fields and mead­ows, and in Gar­ry oak habi­tat through­out the islands (for a com­plete iden­ti­fi­ca­tion guide, vis­it www.sjpt.org). Many of the birds will be wear­ing col­ored leg bands, mak­ing them dis­tin­guish­able from oth­er local song­birds. Sight­ings and nest­ing obser­va­tions can be report­ed to Kath­leen Foley of the San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust at 378‑2461 or to Barb Jensen of San Juan Islands Audubon at 378‑3068. A “blue­bird hot­line” num­ber has also been estab­lished to report sight­ings: 360–298-2822.

The San Juan Islands West­ern Blue­bird Rein­tro­duc­tion Project is a part­ner­ship of the San Juan Preser­va­tion Trust, the San Juan Islands Audubon Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Bird Con­ser­van­cy, and the Ecos­tud­ies Insti­tute. The Project’s pri­ma­ry goal is to reestab­lish a breed­ing pop­u­la­tion of West­ern blue­birds, a native song­bird that once bred in the San Juans but has been absent from the islands for more than 40 years.

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Categories: Enviro Corner

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