Eagle Bluff participates in a form of citizen science overseen by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
By Mason Keel, Environmental Education Mentor | April 16, 2020
Every Spring, Eagle Bluff participates in a form of citizen science known as Nest Watch, overseen by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Although there are many different species of birds that participants can keep track of, we focus on establishing habitats for Eastern Bluebirds (sialia sialis).
That being said, in mid to late March, when these beautiful birds begin to fly back from their migratory habitats down south, we put up 20 cavity nest boxes. Since there are other cavity nesters in the area (including the invasive European Starling), the boxes go in areas that are ideal for our insectivore friends, like prairies and savannahs. Once the boxes are up, the data collection begins.
Eagle Bluff’s Bluebird Team, mostly made up of the Environmental Educational Fellows, checks the boxes two to three times a week, looking for things like nest completion, number of eggs, and number of hatchlings. After each week, all our data get pooled into a nationwide database. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology uses this data to “study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals.”
We’re happy to help contribute and continue contributing to this environmental cause. If you want to be a bird-helping citizen scientist, please visit https://nestwatch.org/ to get started. The more data the better!
Week 1 update (April 14th):
We got our first egg!