Bluebird News!General ·
Bluebird Boxes are Ready for the Nesting Season
On April 2, eight of us cleaned out the Bluebird boxes on the Vredenburgh trail to get them ready for spring. We got all of them cleaned and found only a few minor maintenance issues and a few boxes which will need replacement. We had a great group and perfect weather! The surprise of the day came when volunteer Ron opened a box and there was a chipmunk inside! It quickly scampered away. We did find a few nest starts and there were quite a few Bluebirds already in the area.
It gave me a bit of hope to see some green growth emerging from the blackened soil. The sage buttercup and grass widows are starting to bloom. There is plenty of blackened sage on the Ellensburg side of the trail and it will be interesting to see how this affects nesting birds this year, but we are hoping for the best.
Many thanks go to volunteers Jan and Judy, Kristi and Ella, Sara and Ron and Joe. Richard, along with Janna and Steven cleaned out the Durr Road boxes on Saturday, where they found several nest starts of Mountain Bluebirds, three of them with eggs already! We are as ready as we can be, and are hoping for a productive nesting season.
New Bluebird Boxes Donated to YVAS
It started late last summer when my sister Lynne contacted me about doing a conservation project for YVAS. She is the Regent of the Mary Ball chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR is committed to historic preservation and education, but you may not know that they are also very committed to conservation. She contacted me and asked if we needed any boxes for the Bluebird trail. We can always use more Bluebird boxes and we were excited at the possibility of having more boxes available. As it turned out, her timing could not have been better.
I was in the process of getting the plans together when the Evans Canyon Fire hit. The fire was depressing enough, but to make matters worse, Evans Canyon runs right through the middle of the Bluebird box trail that Joe and I maintain on Cleman Mountain. We had 35 boxes up there, and we presume that most (if not all) of them are now gone. We will find out after May 1, when the Elk closure ends and we can access the area again. The fire destroyed eleven boxes on the Vredenburgh trail as well. At that point, our need for a few new boxes turned into a need for a lot of new boxes.
The designs for our boxes are very specific, so I got the plans from Richard and sent them off to Lynne. She and her husband Mike purchased the wood and other materials needed. DAR paid for the wood and materials for the boxes, and Mike and Lynne cut out the wood and constructed the boxes. They made 35 boxes! Not only that, they drove over from the West side to deliver them to us on April 11.
In addition, my mother (who is also a member of the Mary Ball chapter, as am I) happened to be talking to some people who live in her Senior Living complex about the fire and the Bluebird boxes. She learned that there were some men who live there who are into woodworking, and they volunteered to make some boxes as well. They made eight more boxes. Once again, Mary Ball provided the funds and the guys provided the labor.
So, we now have 43 new Bluebird boxes, which will hopefully host many generations of bluebirds. Our thanks go out to Lynne, Mike, Morris, Marlen, Dan, Craig, and Dick, and, of course, to the Mary Ball chapter of the DAR.