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‘Dr. Bluebird’ spurs AMV nesting box project

2017/09/15

Based on the recommendations of our March speaker, Dr. Kent Hall of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, we built and installed 38 Bluebird nesting boxes. (Hall is known as  “Dr. Bluebird” in Wisconsin!) 

The houses went up at the Hueston Woods State Park Golf Course in three phases. All were built in my woodworking shop with help from Libby Birch, Hardy Eshbaugh, Brian Grubb, and especially George Simonds. 

We have 14 sponsors at $35 each, which nearly covers the entire cost of the houses.  We have three extra houses and can always use more sponsors

We were late in getting the houses installed but they were well-received regardless. We had all 38 houses occupied at some point during the nesting season I plan to move a few houses by next spring to afford easier access for both birds and monitors.  Otherwise the initial locations were excellent. 

Libby Birch and I monitored the boxes several times through July. (The normal monitoring season lasts 7-11 weeks.  As the years pass we will gain more experience and our efforts will become more precise.) Then the boxes were cleaned out and prepared for winter.

I put together two complete sets of monitoring notebooks and tools needed by monitors for minor repairs, box cleaning, etc. I also sewed an AMV flag that is placed on the back of the golf cart to give official status of the monitors while on the course. In conjunction with Matthew Bourne, superintendent of the golf course, a list of monitoring instructions were written.  Training sessions will be scheduled before next spring for anyone wanting to be a monitor.

In the future, we may implement additional Bluebird trails in Hueston Woods State Park, accessible by bike, hike, or auto, and a Bluebird trail on the new bike trail surrounding Oxford. These new trails will require much greater planning and approval by the Board of AMV.  

There is no end to the enthusiasm from members with regard to becoming monitors.  The future looks very bright.  Our first year results are highly encouraging.

— Dick Munson, Conservation Chair

 

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