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Bluebird Project

Help us check our bluebird nestboxes located at our county parks and wildlife areas.

We are looking for volunteers to monitor bluebird houses along our trails and identify the type of birds that are nesting in them.

It’s easy!  All you need to do is peek into the box and record what you see through the Google forms linked below.

Data Entry

How to Monitor Our Boxes

  1. Knock on the box. This will ensure that any adult birds fly away before you open it.
     
  2. Find the nail on the right side of the box and pull it out. This will allow the door to swing down to view inside. Put the nail in your pocket after you pull it out so you don’t lose it.  
     
  3. Open the door slowly.
     
  4. Identify the species of bird living there.  Use the fact sheet below to do this. Do NOT remove the nest.  Native Iowa birds are protected by law. 
  5. Record what you on find by following the link located by the map of the area you are monitoring.  If you don’t have a way to electronically record your data just write down what you see and record it in the Google forms linked above when you get home or send it to:
    Jones County Conservation
    Attn: Naturalist
    12515 Central Park Rd.  
    Center Junction, IA 52212
     
  6. Close the lid and put the nail back into the box.

Thank you for helping Jones County Conservation monitor bluebird nests.  

In addition to providing homes for bluebirds, we are also conducting research. The “skylight” that is located on some of the box lids is thought to ward off unwanted birds from nesting there.  Half of the boxes that were put up at this site include the skylight. We are collecting this data to see if the skylight is effective.

Project Goals

Goal #1: Provide community members the opportunity to monitor bluebird houses around Jones County Conservation areas.
 
Goal #2: Conduct research on the effectiveness of the “skylight”.  The idea is that the skylight detours unwanted birds from nesting in boxes designed for bluebirds.  
 
Goal #3: Educate community members on the different types of birds that could nest in bluebird boxes by providing identification resources.

Thanks to Molly Crock and Family, Jones County Youth Conservation Crew, Spahn and Rose Lumber Company, JCCB Staff, and the UNI Iowa STEM Teacher Externship program. 

Map · Jones County Conservation

12515 Central Park Rd. · Center Junction, IA 52212