Bluebird trail being installed near Dubois
(Dubois, Wyo.) – The Dubois Community Mountain Bluebird Trail is currently being installed thanks to a partnership between the Dubois Museum and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation (JHWF). A bluebird trail consists of many nesting boxes spaced 100 yards or more apart and located so they can be conveniently monitored by people. Over the course of many years the loss of standing aspens, cottonwoods, and other riparian vegetation in our area has meant the loss of nesting habitat for cavity-dwelling birds.
Bluebirds are cavity nesters, naturally using hollows in rotted tree limbs or holes in trees carved out by other cavity-nesting bird species (e.g., woodpeckers). JHWF’s Mountain Bluebird Nestbox Monitoring Project includes overseeing, for the past 13 years, more than 100 nest boxes on the National Elk Refuge. In response to significant habitat loss, the introduction of supplemental nesting cavities on the National Elk Refuge has aided in slowing the decline of Jackson Hole’s Mountain Bluebird population.
The Dubois Community Mountain Bluebird Trail is starting with 32 nest boxes that will be installed between Bull Lake Creek in Crowheart, through to the Town Park in Dubois. Some boxes have already been installed and all of them should be up by the first week of April. Volunteers will monitor the nest boxes at least once per week from April through August. Some of the information collected includes dates, number of eggs laid, eggs hatched, birds fledged. This data is entered into the Nature Mapping Jackson Hole database and will also be shared with the North American Bluebird Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch system. The data gathered as part of this project is helping to increase our understanding of the breeding success of the Mountain Bluebird.