Thunder Bay Bluebird Recovery Program

The Thunder Bay Bluebird Recovery Program (TBBRP) was established in 1988 with reports of 58 Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) fledglings and 97 Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) fledglings for the first summer. The establishment of the program was the result of financial assistance of two Community Wildlife Involvement Program grants and the helping hands of the inmates and staff of the Provincial Correctional Farm who, over a two year period, constructed nearly 800 nest boxes. Since then, through annual community workshops and information sessions over the past decade, those nest boxes and hundreds of others, constructed by volunteer groups and individuals, have been mounted and monitored throughout the Thunder Bay District.

Annually, wildlife watchers and bird lovers are taught how to select the right habitat for bluebirds, how and where to mount the nest boxes, how and when to monitor the nesting process and keep accurate records.

Correct habitat, careful monitoring and record keeping are the most critical elements. With these considerations respected, raising cavity nesters can be a gratifying experience. Other constructive native cavity nesters, who benefit from this program and the addition of artificial cavities, are Tree Swallows, chickadees, nuthatches and Great Crested Flycatchers. Wrens, also native, can create havoc by puncturing or removing eggs of other birds. Also disastrous to a nest box trail are House Sparrows (Passer domesticus), imported, who will kill anything in order to take over a nest box and European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), another import, who will oust any occupant where the entrance hole is large enough to permit their entrance.

For information on spring sessions, nestbox purchases or plans, or for a TBBRP brochure specific to this district, please phone or write to:

Susan Robinson
c/o Thunder Bay Field Naturalists
Box 10037
Thunder Bay, On
P7B 6T6
Fax: 344-5106
email: hitchcroft(at)shaw(dot)caSusan Robinson