Posted by: Sandy Morrissey | May 12, 2011

30 Nesting Pairs of Bluebirds of Happiness!

Thanks to all you monitors who are keeping track of our 200 nestboxes in 45 locations.

We are having a fantastic year.

When Nadia Valla reported her first nesting pair at Apawamis a couple days ago, that made 29 nesting pairs. Now we have another report of a nesting pair up county nesting at a private home of a Girl Scout leader (shall we all move north?). That makes 30 confirmed pairs in 14 locations. Last year we had 32 pairs total, so we should easily break that record.

Banded bluebird nestling

Very first bluebird nestling banded in our BRSS Eastern Bluebird Project

I banded my first bluebirds since getting my banding license this year. The very first were nestlings at Outhouse Orchard in N. Salem. I banded the 4 nestlings and managed to catch the mother in the nestbox and banded her.

On Monday I banded my second batch of nestlings at Lasdon Arboretum. I was assisted by an angel who came into my life – Tolly Beck. She works at Lasdon and happened to show up when I was setting up the boxes and asked what I was doing. She then volunteered to monitor them. Since Lasdon is an hour’s drive from me, this is a God-send. Lasdon is perfect bluebird habitat and quickly the 3 nestboxes we placed on the great lawn were each occupied by a nesting bluebird pair.

Girl Scouts built and monitor nestboxes at Tilly Foster Farm – another location far from home. Two troops each have two houses there in different locations, and both have a nesting bluebird pair. Ginger Colin’s troop’s birds hatched and will be banded this week. Barb Londa’s box had 5 beautiful eggs, but regretfully something got to them (suspect house wren). I will move this box further out in the field and hope improve chances of success.

Sunningdale Golf Club is most prolific with 5 nesting pairs! For those of you who are fighting off house sparrows, please remember that when I started with this course, at one point it had 7 out of 8 boxes with House Sparrows. I faithfully walked the course each Monday for several years and now we have no HS (knock on wood) and all these beautiful blue eggs.

Kensico was the star last year with 5 nesting pairs and it is getting revived up, with 3 pairs now. We are bringing the Youth Birding Club there on Sat., May 14. We are hoping to have bluebird babies to show them, but it will be close.

 Clare Gorman and Jeff Zuckerman are beside themselves with joy of having 4 bluebird pairs to watch – 2 at Lake Isle and 2 at Bonnie Briar. Lake Isle is Jeff’s home golf course and it took about 5 years for him to get bluebirds on his home course. Talk about scoring birdies!

Orlando just reported discovering bluebirds nesting in a Gilbertson box at SUNY Purchase that was placed just 2 weeks ago. Last year we had to remove a box in this productive location because the House Sparrow had discovered it and took over, killing it occupants. It’s great to know the bluebirds are accepting the Gilbertson nestboxes. I will definitely be ordering more of these. They seem to work like a charm.

Orlando also has bluebirds at Manhattanville College and these just hatched. This pair is also in a Gilbertson box just outside a residence on the campus. I actually met the person living in the house when I made my visit

Joan with nestling

Joan Heilman helped with banding the nestlings at Saxon Woods Golf Course

this spring, but I could not get him interested in the marvelous fact that he had the New York State Bird in his yard.

Saxon Woods is continuing to be a super star location. Joan Heilman, a non-golfer, risks life and limb traversing the golf course (has a scar from being hit with a golf ball, but still goes back!). She just reported the 3rd nesting pair there and on Tuesday we banded the first batch of nestlings and caught the adult male

Bonnie Gould helps me monitor Scarsdale Golf Club (which has 2 nestings pairs) and has volunteered to help me monitor Old Oaks. This course had 12 nestboxes in place for many years, but no one monitored them. Consequently, most of them have house sparrows. She was there recently and threw out 7 HS nests. We both have seen the bluebird flying around there checking out houses, but none can nest yet. Hopefully, Old Oaks will follow the same path that Sunningdale did, and eventually the HS will give up – and there won’t be babies to propagate the race.

Thanks to all the monitors (there are about 25 of you), who contribute so much to our Eastern Bluebird Project. Keep hopeful that the bluebirds will one day arrive – if not already there.



  1. Great work!

    Re: Lyndhurst

    Could I get copied on Ethan Weinstein’s weekly montor’s report?
    Stephanie Garber

    • Thanks, Stephanie. Yes I will send you Ethan’s reports.

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