Friday, August 21, 2009

News from the Field: WBS Field & Habitat Management Studies

Young Eastern Bluebirds in a nestbox.

Our longest running field studies project with Ameren UE is our nestbox study. The nestbox study is looking at power cuts and the methods of control used on the vegetation and their impact on local bird populations.

Trina Whitener checks a Peterson nestbox.

We compare the different methods of control by studying the nestboxes that are placed on these lines to see how successful the nestboxes are for cavity nesting species, such as Eastern Bluebirds, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, House Wren, Carolina Wren, and a specialty Great-crested Flycatcher in each area.

Carolina Wren eggs in a nestbox.

On each stanchion that we check that we have two Peterson nestboxes and two standard nestboxes. The different nestboxes are preferred by different species. These boxes are built by eagle scouts as part of their eagle scout projects.

The field studies staff includes Trina Whitner, Matt Sheele, and myself. Each time that we check the boxes we record in what box we find eggs, babies, babies banded, and then number that fledge.

Trina Whitener banding a young Eastern Bluebird.

This data helps us to determine just how successful the control methods are. In addition to checking the nestboxes we also perform point counts at select locations on each line. Two trained naturalists count all of the birds they see and/or hear in the area for ten minutes. This additional data helps us to determine how the control methods affect other nesting birds in the area.

Check back soon - we'll be posting our findings!

Submitted by Cathy Spahn, Field Studies Coordinator, World Bird Sanctuary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to hear your findings!! I have a bluebird house here in Indianapolis and have had 2 broods of 5 babies fledging in each brood. They are such a joy to watch and anything we can do to help their numbers I am excited to hear about!!

Your friend in Indiana.