Jeff Koziol, Bluebird trail coordinator, and Paul Noeldner, leader of Friends of Urban Nature, led nine participants on this welcoming, family-friendly, educational monthly Bird and Nature Adventure in the Preserve. The Martin and Bluebird Citizen Science research projects in the Preserve are sponsored by the Friends and are helping provide supplemental habitat for these cavity nesting native Wisconsin birds with weekly monitoring and scientific data reporting. The Bluebird Houses that are located along the trail around the Biocore Prairie also benefit native Tree Swallows, Black-Capped Chickadees and House Wrens. The multi-story white Purple Martin house on a pole at the top of the hill includes both box apartments and gourds, which Native Americans put by their gardens for Martins to use.
Jeff guided the group around the Biocore Prairie and showed examples of nests and pictures of recent bluebird fledglings and talked about the goals of this citizen science project and this year's challenging season for bluebirds. Paul told the story of the Purple Martin house and this summer's successful season with 24 fledglings. Along the way Jeff showed people how to use an app to identify various prairie plants. The blooming prairie was beautiful and we saw a lot of Goldfinches and other birds including a Coopers Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk. All photos by Paul Noeldner.