Bird Profiles of the Arboretum
HF&G Conservation Programs
Holden’s Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow conservation program began in the early 1960’s when volunteers installed more than 200 nest boxes on the property. Formal data collection began in 1965, making Holden’s program one of the largest and longest-running in the state. Both bluebirds and tree swallows suffered population declines earlier in the 20th century and Holden was one of many groups/individuals that recognized the need to conserve these species. Offering nest boxes in high quality habitat, managing competition from non-native species (House Sparrows and European Starlings), providing protection from predators (cats, snakes, raccoons) and managing nest parasites are all vital parts of the conservation effort. Holden’s program has been a volunteer-driven effort from the start. Each year, more than 50 volunteers conduct twice-weekly nest checks, change nests to protect against parasites, manage competing species, conduct maintenance and band young birds. Once the season is finished, volunteers assist entering data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program, a citizen science program designed to track the nesting success of birds across the US and beyond. Holden recently (2011) added nesting structures for Purple Martins, another species suffering population declines in the US. We now have an established and growing colony of martins at Hourglass Pond in the Rhododendron Garden. Each year, Holden’s program produces several hundred bluebirds and tree swallows and since the start of the program we have fledged roughly 13,000 bluebirds and nearly 11,000 tree swallows.
Use this Birding Journal to keep track of the birds you see in your neighborhood
To make your copy, select FILE > MAKE A COPY