Bring Back the Bluebirds Project Update – August 9th

Hi bluebirders,

As our field season is winding down we have a couple reminders for everybody:

  • Make sure to clean out your nestboxes before the end of the season. Be safe while doing this by using gloves/tongs and a face mask filter as many once-occupied boxes are full of bird dandruff, feces and insects.
  • Please get any of your recorded data to me (Braden)! I will enter it into our master spreadsheet which we upload to Project NestWatch‘s database. This info helps us understand which bird populations are in decline and where these declines are happening. This season we are approaching 1000 data points!
  • Our annual end-of-season appreciation event is on Monday August 12th at 5:30pm. We will be serving burgers (veggie and beef) and will have a few closing remarks and guest speakers. Please bring beverages, folding chairs, cutlery/plates and a side dish or desert! We hope to see you all there. As we are trying to not waste food and coordinate supplies, please RSVP! It is very helpful if we can estimate how many people are attending.

In other news, our last clutch of bluebirds for the year has been banded. These birds have recently fledged, will soon be feeding on their own, and eventually head south for the winter (although we have had bluebirds spend the winter in the Cowichan Valley before – so who knows?).

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We have also hired a new staff person, Jacquie Taylor! Jacquie, is a nature interpreter and biologist, and will assist the project over the fall through our transitional period.

Hannah is moving to Victoria in September with her husband Trevor, who is starting his Master’s of Science in Geography, and Hannah will be the new Lab Manager for University of Victoria and Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s Applied Conservation Science Lab. She has had a great two years working with the project and looks forward to volunteering in the future.

I (Braden) am moving all the way to Guelph, Ontario for the first of September. I will be starting a Master’s of Science in Biology studying fisheries ecology and wildlife genetics using a population of Arctic Charr as my study group. This is by far the scariest thing I have ever done, but I look forward to the adventure. I’ve had a phenomenal summer and have greatly enjoyed my time working with bluebirds, Hannah, Genevieve and all of our great volunteers. I’ll miss my time on the Island very much as I try to survive my first Ontario winter. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,

– Braden

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