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Bluebird Houses for Habitat Restoration at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve

Our bluebird houses are ready for installation at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve! Built by our Land Stewardship Manager Chris Fox, these boxes will help us monitor breeding success of cavity nesting birds and test a few designs recommended by the North American Bluebird Society to see which is the most successful on our preserves.

Sycamore’s Sam Shine Foundation Preserve and neighboring Dan Efroymson Preserve will be the site of a massive restoration project along Beanblossom Creek in the coming year to create wetland and grassland habitats. With a steep wooded bluff, an upland field, and karst topography, this 613-acre property is a prime location for impactful wildlife habitat restoration.

The boxes are made of cedar and tulip popular and open for monitoring and cleaning purposes. While these are designed for bluebirds, other species may use them such as tree swallows, Carolina chickadees, Tufted titmice and Carolina Wrens. Non-native species like starlings and house sparrows may also move in but the box design with the slot opening (instead of a round hole) has been used by some to help reduce use by sparrows.

The saw kerfs below the entrance hole inside the box are there to provide the nestlings with a toehold, like a ladder, when they are ready to fledge. Boxes will be monitored regularly during the nesting season by staff and volunteers, who will report progress throughout the season and provide a summary after the season has ended to help Sycamore and our partners monitor breeding success.

Saw kerf “ladders” to help nestlings fledge (leave) the nest.