Local Family Studies Bluebirds at Fox Haven


Over the past Spring and Summer season, the Jacksons, a local family have been coming to Fox Haven weekly to monitor the migrating bluebirds. They have so kindly shared their experience of family bonding in nature while doing a citizen science project together–all while helping our non-profit continue to provide bird habitat!

Our bird box watch began in the chilly early Spring and ended in the scorching heat of early August. We went from making sure we came on a day that was above 55-60 to make sure we had enough cold water, hats, sunscreen, and bug spray in our backpacks! Always making sure we arrived at least an hour or so after sunrise and never too close to sunset so as not to disturb the birds or attract predators. It was a lovely walk around an organic, very friendly cow field. We observed not only eastern bluebirds but: swallow, wren, hawk, raven, phoebe, cardinal, blue jay, woodpecker, oriole, indigo bunting, blue heron, mockingbird, loads of cowbird nibbling insects off the cows, mourning dove, crow, Turkey vulture, rabbit, deer, various butterflies and insects galore. The only hitchhiker we tried to avoid was of the parasitic arachnid family, aka ticks. (Note to any future nest watchers…embrace your inner dork: tuck those pants into your socks and tuck those shirts into your pants! Check yourself randomly as you walk and before you get back into your car.)

We all squealed with delight the first time we found eggs in a nest box. Oliver classified the eggs as such: jelly beans (wren), blue sky (bluebird) and pretty little pebbles (swallow.) It was very exciting see the chicks grow up and fledge in a surprisingly short amount of time. Sam figured out it was best to check the boxes by gently putting the corner of our phone up to the hole to snap a picture when we weren’t sure how mature the chicks were. We noticed the wrens took a bit longer to incubate/hatch than the bluebirds or swallows. There were many successful fledglings but the season was not without loss. Sam was always willing to be there with us to help empty flattened, soiled nests, chase away wasps, weed whack around the poles and bury any young that didn’t survive. It was sad to lose any eggs or young but we know that is part of the circle of life. From the first few pieces of grass inside the boxes until the last day we checked (August 9) when we were lucky enough to witness two of the fledged bluebirds flitting and flying above the field with both their parents close by, it was an absolute gift to spend a couple hours each week with my favorite birder, our son Oliver.


One thought on “Local Family Studies Bluebirds at Fox Haven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Get a digest of Fox Haven Farm & Learning Center news, events, and resources in your inbox every month.


* indicates required
Interest (check all that apply)