For the past 19 years, ALAS has developed and monitored an Easter Bluebird Trail. In that time, the trail has grown from 89 to 1,000 boxes and from 1 to 65 volunteer monitors. For the last 9 years, it has been the largest and most productive in the USA.
For the 2020 nesting season, this trail produced 6,000 songbirds, 4,000 of which were bluebirds. In the 19 years of activity, the Eastern Bluebird Trail has produced about 101,000 songbirds, of which 74,500 were bluebirds.
For one of the trails monitored by Sue Hall (ALAS board member) and Diana Mrozinski, 175 songbirds were produced: 118 bluebirds, 43 tree swallows, and 14 chickadees. These numbers are sent to the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW) each season. Sue Hall has sent in her date for 15 years and has helped with many nest box activities during this time, especially with elementary school students. For her long dedication, BRAW awarded Sue Hall with the "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" award.
Several area schools are involved with nest box monitoring. ALAS has helped 8 elementary schools in central Wisconsin establish nest boxes. Each year around mid-April, students get involved with collecting data from their nest boxes at their schools. Last season, 75 students and parents were involved. Most trails have at least three species of birds nesting, sometimes four (bluebird, tree swallow, chickadee, and wren). Students learn to ID nests, eggs, and chicks. But most importantly, they learn how to collect accurate data on specially prepared data sheets.
A Bird Club has been established at McKinley Elementary in Stevens Point involving 15 students and parents who monitor 14 nest boxes in Kozcizkowski Park and Erickson Natural Area, Stevens Point. For the 2020 season, 42 songbirds were produced: 13 House Wrens, 7 Black-capped Chickadees, and 22 Tree Swallows.
In 2019, our 8th elementary school was added, McDill Elementary in Stevens Point. Six nest boxes were set up and over 20 chicks represented four species were produced. In 2020, there were 13 songbirds of three species produced from these boxes.
Nest boxes are also located at two different golf courses in the Stevens Point area. This past season, about 45 birds were fledged from 15 boxes at the Stevens Point Country Club and 20 birds were fledged from 5 boxes at the Wisconsin River Golf Club. Through the years a great rapport with administrators of the golf courses and golfers have developed regularly educating people about conservation of songbirds.
The dedication of the conservation of Eastern Bluebirds continues to be a focus for ALAS. Several members are involved with this monitoring project. If you are interested in getting involved with Eastern Bluebird Monitoring, visit the Bluebird Restoration Associate of Wisconsin at www.BRAW.org or email us at Aldo.Leopold.Audubon@gmail.com.