A Bluebird Monitor’s Year Begins

I’ve finished my third year as a volunteer Bluebird monitor for my county forest preserve district department of natural resource management. I wanted to begin my blog on the first day of the new monitoring year last March when I prepared the Bluebird nest boxes for the Spring season.  But the weeks went by and I never did get around to it.  I thought I missed my opportunity until next year.

Today, a cool, sunny, windy mid-November day, I walked the trail to clean out and close up the nest boxes on my Bluebird route to prepare them for the winter season.  As I made mental notes about how to improve my efforts next year, including starting my blog,  the thought dawned on me …. TODAY is the first day of my next Bluebird monitor year!

Yes!  It’s PERFECT!  Because good beginnings start with good planning.  And, with three years of monitor experience now under my belt, I’m in a great position to plan my 2012 Bluebird monitor season strategy over the winter.

Besides revising the format for my notes and checklists, cleaning the tools in my backpack, and re-visiting my “How To Be A Bluebird Monitor” resources, how will I occupy myself over the winter?  Easy answer.  I will continue to spy on my backyard birds…which is how I became interested in Bluebirds.  First one bird feeder, then another and another.  Then the bird bath.  Then conditioning Chickadees and Nuthatches to hand feed in winter and finally … away from the house and out into the fields to study Ruby-throated Hummingbirds wintering in Costa Rica and collect data on Eastern Bluebirds breeding here in my native northern Illinois.

So, I declare this first day of my blog the first day of my new Eastern Bluebird season.  And in spite of the short winter days approaching, will still take every opportunity to spy on the birds outside my windows – Happy New Year!

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