I have exciting news to share!

For the first time in five years we have translocated a family of Western Bluebirds to the Cowichan Valley. Six baby Western Bluebirds plus their parents arrived yesterday through the heroic efforts of Gary Slater, our project ornithologist and his field technician Jerrmaine Treadwell. Crossing the border is still no picnic (3 1/2 hours in customs and nearly turned away!) and we are looking forward to next year when we hope to bring many more bluebird families over with fewer obstacles. We hope to brave one more translocation this year in a couple of weeks.

With no Western Bluebirds having returned this year, this family represents a new hope to the re-introduction efforts. Our sister project in San Juan Island went through a similar drop in population after the first round of translocations and after a second round has now had a stable population for three years in a row. It is a reminder that species recovery is a long process with many ups and downs. I will cherish this small victory and, with all of your help, build on it in years to come.

Thank you for all your stewardship!

Photos by Helen Anderson

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