Bluebird Trail

 

TALES OF THE

ALDO LEOPOLD AUDUBON SOCIETY’S

EASTERN BLUEBIRD TRAIL

By

Kent D. Hall, Coordinator


In 2002, ALAS began its Eastern Bluebird trail in order to help restore populations of the bluebird in Wisconsin to healthy levels.  In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the population of bluebirds in Wisconsin showed precipitous drops due to ice storms in their over wintering range south of Wisconsin.


From a modest beginning of 89 nest boxes, 1 monitor and 188 bluebird fledglings in 2002, our trail grew to 771 nest boxes, 33 monitors and 3,967 fledglings in 2007.  We will have 924 nest boxes and 45 monitors on our trail in 2008.  During our 6 year history, we have fledged 12,460 songbirds: 9,513 bluebirds, 2,357 Tree Swallows, 253 chickadees and 237 wrens.


We are especially pleased that we are contributing to the conservation of bluebirds and other cavity  nesting songbirds in Wisconsin.  Currently, we are the 2nd largest bluebird trail in Wisconsin and  Wisconsin has become the largest bluebird producing state (from artificial nest boxes) in eastern North America, having fledged a total of 28,244 bluebirds in 2007.


And how about the health of the bluebird in Wisconsin?  It is the best it has been since records were started in the 60’s (using Breeding Bird Survey statistics).  In a very real sense, then, the bluebird joins other bird species in the state (Bald Eagle, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon) by recovering from a near disaster in its over wintering habitat.  And all have a common element: “THE CARE AND CONCERN FOR THE SPECIES BY HUMANS”.


So have we done all we can and should we tear down our nest boxes and pronounce bluebirds as  “healthy in Wisconsin”?  No, let’s not forget how bluebirds got into so much trouble in the first place. It has taken about 30 years for bluebirds to recover from the severe ice storms of 1975-76.  In the winter of 2006-7, ice storms hit Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, home for over-wintering bluebirds that nest in Nebraska.  In the 2007 reproductive season, there was a drastic drop in bluebirds produced in Nebraska.  Of course, the same thing could happen in the over-wintering grounds of bluebirds that nest in Wisconsin, so continued efforts to successfully produce bluebirds in WI must be sustained in order to help populations make it through such drastic weather conditions.


I invite you to join our efforts to continue increasing bluebird numbers in the state.  We continue to  develop new trails (we are now in 7 counties) and are always looking for new monitors.  If interested in going out to help monitor a trail, contact me at (715-344-8081) or at kentsue@charter.net .



Kent D. Hall, Ph.D.

Vice-President & Coordinator

of Data Collection & Analysis, BRAW

200 Pine Bluff Rd.

Stevens Point, WI 54481

(715) 344-8081/ kentsue@charter.net

Audubon Receives National Award from

The North American Bluebird Society

BLUEBIRD STATISTICS

for ALAS Eastern Bluebird Trail


Bluebird Statistics 2016

Bluebird Statistics 2016: Narrative

Join the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society Now!
Click here to download and print Membership Form

Join the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society Now!
Click here to download and print Membership Form

Students monitor local bird trials and nest boxes

The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society has been helping to preserve cavity nesting song birds in Central Wisconsin for the past 13 years. Presently, they have 73 monitors who record data for 1415 nest boxes in Clark, Marathon, Monroe, Price, Portage, Waupaca, and Wood, counties each week starting late March through August. One of the highlights has been involving the younger generation in both monitoring with their parents as well as being a part of a school group.  The leader for Audubon involving students monitoring nest boxes, has been Kent Hall, a retired Biology Professor from UWSP.