Bluebird Trail Monitoring 2021
Bluebirds suffered major population declines with loss of native forests. These losses have been reversed with the help of Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW). The organization developed successful Bluebird box designs, locations, and predator control. Although Bluebirds are the target bird for these boxes, other cavity nesting song birds in the Biocore Prairie also benefit from them, including Tree Swallows, House Wrens, Black-capped Chickadees.
The Biocore Prairie Bluebird Trail consists of 8 Bluebird Boxes, mounted on predator resistant steel poles around the Biocore Prairie. The boxes are located near walking paths as shown on the map. A Citizen Science team of 5 members of the Friends maintains the trail and monitors the boxes weekly. Data are tabulated below, with the most recent week at the top. The annual summary is submitted to BRAW. Over the winter months, 8 new boxes were installed along the trail, donated by Jeff Koziol, and renumbered consecutively (see map).
In 2021, BRAW reports that this year's sightings of Bluebirds in Southern Wisconsin have been few, due to early cold snaps as far south as Texas during migration and then here in Wisconsin in early spring. In the Preserve, we had one pair nesting in Box 5, with 3 eggs, in late summer.
June 16. David Liebl observed the Treeswallows at Box 1 feeding their nestlings,
almost ready to fledge. On June 17, the nestlings have fledged. See photos below.
March 25. Eastern bluebirds have returned to the Preserve. Chuck Henrikson observed a pair along the eastern edge of the Biocore and Paul Noeldner spotted a bluebird at Box 8.
The BRAW design 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. The trail was established by the Friends in 2014. Below, click on earlier years of monitoring results.
The Madison Bluebird Trails are an ongoing Madison Bird City Partners initiative. 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 and to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve to document success and continually improve practices. Reports also go to the eBird database at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for scientific analysis and application.
BRAW Information, Preserve Edition
Primary Monitor: Jeff Koziol
Monitors: Pam Fornell, Gisela Kutzbach, Genevieve Murtaugh, Laura Berger, Maggi Christianson
Support: Paul Noeldner