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bluebird trail

The Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) prefers to inhabit open fields or grassy areas scattered with trees; such as field edges, hedgerows, or roadsides. This species can be found anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Atlantic coast. Although bluebirds are not as prevalent in the northeast as they were in the early 1900's, they are beginning to make a comeback.
The Eastern bluebird was once a common species along the east coast of the United States. But due to habitat loss and the introduction of aggressive non-native birds, such as the House sparrow, the bluebird population dwindled from mid-1930 through the 1970's. Since the 1970's, bluebird enthusiasts have built and monitored bluebird trails and the population steadily increased. Bluebirds are now nesting successfully in areas where they had been missing for 25 years.  

House sparrow

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
competes with bluebirds for nest boxes.

NJFS volunteer Laura Stone monitors the Bluebird Trail at the Forest Resource Education Center. Through the spring and summer, she diligently monitors 39 nest boxes. Laura records the number of nests, eggs, young, and fledglings in each box. She sometimes encounters more than birds - everything from blowflies and wasps to snakes and bats have been found in the nest boxes. Despite these obstacles you will find Laura at the FREC once a week, clipboard in hand, cautiously opening each box.

Volunteer Laura Stone
Laura Stone Checking a Nestbox

Nest Box Report, Summer 2007
Compiled by: Dr. Laura Stone, NJFS Volunteer

Bird Species
# Eggs
Nestlings Fledged
Eastern Bluebird
90
63
Tree Swallow
10
10
Carolina Chickadee
26
12
House Wren
53
10
Totals
179
95

Nest Box Report, Summer 2006

Bird Species
# Eggs
Nestlings Fledged
Eastern Bluebird
86
34
Tree Swallow
8
5
Carolina Chickadee
30
15
House Wren
33
6
Totals
157
60
Learn more about bluebirds with our Bluebird Nestbox Trail guide. [pdf 367K]
Bluebird on Berries Bluebirds in Nestbox Bluebird in Flight

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 14, 2008

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