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Chester River

Field Research Station

Eastern Bluebird Box Trail

There are over 100 bluebird boxes in different areas of Chino Farms. The original intent of these boxes was to monitor possible effects of agricultural by-products on cavity nesting birds. While that aspect of the project concluded years ago, we still check the boxes during the breeding season.

Though the boxes were constructed primarily for Eastern Bluebirds, a variety of birds use them- Tree Swallows, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, House Wrens, and Great Crested Flycatchers have all nested in the boxes. These boxes provide nest sites for cavity nesting birds which are often out-competed by aggressive non-native birds such as European Starlings and House Sparrows. The combination of box size specifications and frequent monitoring allows the native bird species to stave off the competitors.

The Eastern Bluebird Box trail provides an opportunity to study breeding phenology such as dates of nest building, egg laying, hatching, and fledging. In addition, maintaining nest boxes helps provide nesting habitat for Eastern Bluebirds, a once declining icon of open habitats throughout the East. To find out more information about Bluebird boxes visit the North American Bluebird Society. To see detailed summaries of nest box usage check out the FBBO annual reports.