Breeding Bird Studies
Bluebird Trail 2014
Bluebirds suffered major population declines with loss of native forests. These losses have been reversed with the help of Bluebird Restoration of Wisconsin (BRAW). The organization developed successful Bluebird box designs, locations, and predator control. These Bluebird boxes have benefited Wisconsin’s Eastern Bluebird population and given enjoyment to thousands of people. The boxes also benefit other cavity nesting song birds in the Biocore Prairie, including Tree Swallows, Black-capped Chickadees, and House Wrens.
2014 Season Summary for the Biocore Blue Bird trail
Box Style: NABS Peterson
Predator Protection: PVC, Aluminum
Species BB 1st BB 2nd BB 3rd TS HW
Attempts 6 2 6 14
Eggs 24 1 29 43
Hatchlings 9 20 32
Fledglings 7 18 29
Successful 2 4 6
15 Bluebird Trails were maintained and monitored in the Madison area. They produced a toral of 97 little Bluebird Fledglings. Our first attempt on the Biocore Trail, yielding 7 fledglings, was quite successful, and we look forward to the next season.
The Madison Audubon Bird Buddies Bluebird Trails are an ongoing Madison Bird City Partners initiative. They are initated, coordinated, installed and monitored with the support of staff and volunteers working with Madison Parks, Madison Audubon, Wild Warner, Friends of Cherokee Marsh, Friends of Olin-Turville, Village of Maple Bluff, Village of McFarland, Dane County, Wisconsin DNR. Trails and boxes are located, installed and monitored weekly using recommendations and protocols established by BRAW, the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (braw.org). Annual summary report data is submitted to BRAW to document success and continually improve practices and to the eBird database at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for scientific analysis and application. The Bird Buddies are advised by Kent Hall with BRAW, Andy Paulios with Wisconsin DNR, Mark Martin with Madison Audubon, and other experts. Paul Noeldner and Mitchell Thomas are liaison for the Biocore Trail.
The brand new Biocore Prairie Bluebird Trail consists of 13 Bluebird Boxes mounted on predator resistant steel poles around the Biocare Prairie and through the Community Gardens. The boxes shown in green on the map have been there for some time, but all the others were installed in early May of 2014.
The boxes are located near walking paths. They are easy to see for visitors and easy to monitor and maintain.
The BRAW design Bluebird boxes for the Biocore Prairie Bluebird trail were built and installed by the trio of Paul Noeldner, creative and hands-on leader of the project, Mitchell Thomas, sophomore at the UW who had the idea of a bluebird trail, and Will Waller of the Eagle Heights Community Gardens, who provided labor to build and install the boxes. All three are members of the Friends. Paul is also associated with the Audubon Society and Bird City Madison.
These Bluebird boxes are luxury boxes, considering that the cedar wood used for building them is more than 100 years old and from the attic floor of a Wisconsin home.
Bluebird Trail Monitoring 2014
May 31, 2014 Monitoring by Will and Louisa Waller
BB1 – House sparrow, nest removed
BB2 – Tree swallow, 4 eggs, pair seen on box
BB3 – House wren, 4 eggs, female seen exiting box and then perched nearby
BB4 – Tree swallow, 3-4 eggs, pair on box
BB5 – House wren, nest too deep to inspect, eggs suspected
BB6: Bluebirds, 2 nestlings seen, pair in nearby tree, nestlings estimated 8 days old
BB7 – Tree swallow, 5 eggs, pair in box (see picture)
BB8 – House wren, deep nest, couldn't see interior, a small mirror would be useful on these inspections
BB9 – Bluebirds, pair seen in nearby sumac, did not open box, heard rustling sounds, so nestlings are active, do not want pre-mature fledging.
BB10 – Box empty, 2 tree swallows perched nearby
BB11 – Did not inspect nest, lots of feathers present, female present, do not think eggs observed earlier have hatched... or if they have, it's very quiet.
BB12 – House sparrow, nest removed. There is an Oriole nest in the adjacent tree island. We saw Baltimore Oriole in the nest. Heard a lot of oriole chatter, so there are probably several nests.
BB13 – House sparrow, nest removed.
We decided to add a small mirror to our data collecting kit. It is hard to see what is in some of the nests, particularly the wrens.