Trail Monitor Training Workshop

I am excited to let you know that despite all the craziness of these times we have found a way to carry on with our Trail Monitoring Workshop without risking anyone’s health. Thanks to the wonders of technology and the help of Ann Nightingale, we are going to host our event online using the platform Zoom.
You are cordially invited to join us on March 29 from 9am-11:30. To register, follow the link below:
For those who have not used Zoom before, here is a link for instructions: With this platform you can choose your level of participation, if you turn video on we will all see your lovely faces, you can choose to use audio only or simply to watch while muted if you are feeling more private. The host will put you on mute while presentations are in progress but there are opportunities for people to share and ask questions. You can choose your username which can be your real name or something made up.
Ann Nightingale, Genevieve Singleton, Hannah Hall, and I, Jacquie Taylor will be presenting the workshop which will include:
  • History of the Bluebird Project
  • Safe nest box checking and maintenance;
  • Recording observations;
  • Predator prevention;
  • Local native and non-native cavity nesting species and how to identify their nests;
  • Supplemental feeding
If you are interested in watching but not available at that time (or the idea of using a new platform makes you uncomfortable), we will be recording the workshop. Please just let us know and we can make it available to you. I will be also be making the Bluebird Trail Monitoring Handbook available, both by email and through our website.
It is wonderful that there are still ways for us to connect during this isolating time. I really look forward to seeing you all there! Please contact me if you have any questions.
* Due to a hiccup in switching from an in person event to online the registration says that all non-member tickets are sold out, please just register as a member regardless of whether you are or not.
Warm wishes,
Jacquie Taylor

Job Posting

The Cowichan Bring Back the Bluebird Project is hiring a Bluebird Conservation Technician for the summer! Here are the details:


Bluebird Conservation Technician (Summer Position)


LOCATION OF JOB:  Duncan, BC, with travel throughout Cowichan Valley


Note: Applicants must have a home base in the Cowichan Valley for the duration of the employment period or be willing to relocate for the contract term


TERM:  As early as April 1st with an approximate end date of August 29th, 2020


SALARY: $18-$20/hour (plus 4% vacation pay paid out hourly)


The British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF) is in search of a Conservation Technician to provide technical field support for Bring Back the Bluebirds, a Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) reintroduction project.

Job Description:

The Conservation Technician will provide support for the project by assisting the Project Biologist with the following activities:

  • Monitoring and feeding reintroduced bluebirds;
  • Maintenance of bird boxes;
  • Providing logistical support for the project by tracking birds, supporting translocation activities, and ensuring proper care of birds;
  • Recruiting landowners to participate in the bluebird nestbox host program;
  • Organizing and delivering outreach and population monitoring events, including volunteer training workshops, community events, fundraisers, and Bluebird Blitz surveys: tasks will include promoting events, tracking registrations and volunteer hours, assisting with training and delivery, and follow-up with participants;
  • Updating project website and social media;
  • Assisting with writing project reports, articles and outreach materials, and with other general administrative tasks.


Please note that this position requires beginning work in the early morning (before sunrise) in all weather conditions, working alone outdoors, and daily travel throughout the region.


Essential qualifications:

  • Must be able to accept direction from the Bluebird Project Coordinator,  and Project Biologist ;
  • A minimum of 2 years post-secondary education in a natural science discipline;
  • Bird-watching experience and at least beginner-level identification of local bird species;
  • A cheerful, approachable and personable nature as well as a willingness to recruit and work with volunteers;
  • Be self-directed with an ability to work with minimal supervision;
  • Attention to detail and time management skills;
  • Strong organizational skills and an ability to organize events and to keep track of volunteer contributions, contacts, and budgets;
  • Daily access to a computer and cell phone with reliable internet connection;
  • Have a valid driver’s license, daily access to a vehicle, and ability to make site visits;
  • An ability and willingness to work flexible hours, and to work outside in all weather conditions.


Asset qualifications:

  • An understanding of Garry Oak and associated ecosystems, plants, and wildlife;
  • Familiarity with basic field equipment (GPS, binoculars, spotting scope) and hand tools (power drill, hammer);
  • Experience working with birds and/or animals
  • Bird banding training and/or experience
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including preparing written reports, and experience preparing web content, newsletter articles, and social media content;
  • Experience with either concepts or practice of habitat restoration projects;
  • ArcGIS experience;
  • Experience coordinating volunteers.

To apply for this job:

  1. Please apply via the BCCF website

Beer and Burger fundraiser

Put April 19 down on your calendar so you can join us for our annual Beer and Burger night at the Cowichan Bay Pub! We will have music, thanks to Beverley McKeen, a 50/50 draw, a silent auction, and of course burgers and beer 🙂 Tickets are $30 and are available at Volume One Books, at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, or by contacting us at

Beer and Burger Bring Back the Bluebird 2020

Bring Back the Bluebirds Project Update

We are gearing up for the new field season! This year we hope to do more translocations to bring our newly re-established population up to a more sustainable number. Most of the Bluebirds are down south still, maybe thinking thoughts of spring? We will need a few more intrepid volunteers for our trail monitoring program. If you would love to be responsible for checking on a trail of nestboxes from March to August or know someone who would, please contact us!

Bring Back the Bluebirds Project Update – End of August

Hi everybody,

Thanks again to all of our volunteers and supporters for the fantastic summer and all of the hard work you have contributed!

To date, we have accumulated nearly 2700 volunteer hours for the year within the Bluebird Project. This is spread among nearly 130 volunteers, 17 trail monitors, 8 mealworm feeders and 67 landowners. Our many landowners and trail monitors collected over 1,000 data points on nesting birds in the Cowichan Valley. This type of large, long-term data is critical to understanding the population trends and dynamics of our native, cavity-nesting birds. Of our 238 nestboxes, 61.1% produced a successful clutch of native birds! While we still have House Sparrow issues, volunteers have combated this significantly by removing nearly 50 HOSP nests this year (at ~5 fledglings a nest, that’s ~250 less HOSP in the Valley).



Weekly Update – August 28th, 2019, A bit of news to end the season with

The Bring Back the Bluebird Project has news to share! While our Bluebirds have finished nesting for the year, our project has found a new nest of its own. The Cowichan Valley Naturalist Society has partnered with the BC Conservation Foundation, which will take on the administration of this project.

While we will still rely on our great team of volunteers for taking care of our bluebirds, BCCF will take care of administrative tasks such as budget tracking, invoicing, and hiring. Genevieve Singleton will still guide and support the project and Jacquie Taylor will be the coordinator; filling out grant applications, keeping everyone informed and planning the next field season.

I feel this is an exciting step forward for the project. BCCF has a great reputation for keeping projects on track and we have a fantastic foundation of community engagement. This collaboration will strengthen our efforts to bring the Western Bluebird population back to our Cowichan Valley.

Warm wishes,

Jacquie Taylor

p.s. Our website flies south for the winter so there will be no more updates this year. See you next spring! Also, if anyone is wanting to donate to our Bluebird Project, please follow this link to the Canada Helps site and choose Bring Back the Bluebirds from the list. Thank you for all your support!