- 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
Barry has spotted our first Bluebird of the season! She is one of our Cowichan fledged birds from 2018 and was a very successful mother last year, raising two clutches in her first year as a parent. We will do what we can to help her have another successful year. Here is a photo thanks to Barry:
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)
HOURS OF WORK PER WEEK: 35
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Please apply via the BCCF website https://bccf.com/opportunities/employment/western-bluebird-technician-%E2%80%93-cowichan-valley-western-bluebird
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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).
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.
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!