Bluebird program takes flight

Bluebird program takes flight

North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club is hosting a workshop on the bluebird trail program April 8

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club is hosting a workshop and information session on the bluebird trail program.

The presentation will be held at the Vernon branch of Okanagan Regional Library Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

“Bluebirds across North America were once common. However, by the 1960s, their numbers had dropped dismally due to development, the use of the DDT pesticide and invasive species,” said Margaret Mackenzie, with the NONC.

“As housing expanded into the rural countryside, an influx occurred of house sparrows and European starlings which also vied for tree cavity nest. The competition seriously impacted bluebirds and other native tree cavity users.”

The North American Bluebird Society was formed in the late 1960s to help reverse the decline. Soon clubs across North America were providing an alternative to natural sites by building trails and nest boxes for bluebirds.

NONC joined the bluebird nest box program about 25 years ago and now manages 18 bluebird trails on farms and ranchlands, with a total of about 450 nest boxes. Each trail has from eight to 40 boxes and they are maintained and monitored weekly.

“The monitors check for species of bird, dates of egg laying, numbers of chicks hatching and fledgling,” said Mackenzie.

“We are gearing up for another year of monitoring and launching the season with the bluebird workshop, slide show and information session.”

For more information, contact Mackenzie at 250-542-2712 or