Tehachapi Western Bluebird Nest Box Program Needs Volunteers
With over 23 years of annual participation by many dedicated volunteers, the Tehachapi Western Bluebird Nest Box Program is in need of NEW volunteers!
In the past they have enjoyed a large pool of part-time volunteers. Unfortunately numbers have diminished over the past few years causing data collection gaps when no one has been available.
Please spread the word to others who you think would be interested and have them contact Coordinator Karen Pestana at 661-972-6897 or email@example.com.
Over the years people from Tehachapi, young and old, have participated in collecting nesting information for Western Bluebirds, a small blue bird with a rusty colored breast, that are year-round residents of the Tehachapi Mountains. These participants have made a difference by direct conservation based on sound science. The data collected contributes to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch database and is used by scientists to study bird populations and how they may be changing over time.
From April through June, participants in the Western Bluebird Nest Box Program enjoy a one-to-two-hour, leisurely hike, two times per month, from nest box to nest box at Indian Hill Ranch and at Brite Lake. Participants are trained ‘on the job’ and walk in the company of other enthusiasts, stopping at each nest box to log the bird activity on a data sheet (e.g. number of eggs, number hatched, number fledged). The boxes are designed to open, giving the participants close up views of nests, eggs, and baby birds in the nest.
The nest box program welcomes new participants to help carry on this long-term study. No special skill or knowledge of birds is necessary to participate; however, the hikes require walking on steep, uneven terrain. The program coordinator attends the outings and instructs new participants.
In preparation for the 2023 nesting season, Karen is seeking a bird enthusiast to train as her co-coordinator.
Co-coordinator tasks include:
- Group emails to participants for coordinating monitoring dates
- Storing the inventory of extra bird boxes and maintenance tools provided for volunteers
- Instructing new participants in the NestWatch data collecting protocol
- Inputting data on the Cornell University NestWatch website
- Coordinating entry to the study sites with the manager at Indian Hill Ranch and supervisor for Tehachapi Parks and Recreation at Brite Lake