Nest Box Trail Valley Water Mill
In 2014 a small trail of cavity nest boxes was gradually installed by Missouri Master Naturalist Drew Albert at Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center. A few other boxes had been previously installed (but not monitored) at the nearby Valley Water Mill Park. In partnership with the Springfield–Greene County Park Board the trail was expanded to its current number of 16 boxes.
The first year (2014) was spent fending off House Sparrows although a few Eastern Bluebirds did fledge during the summer.
In 2015, there were thankfully far fewer House Sparrows and a total of 60 birds fledged (35 Eastern Bluebirds, 19 House Wrens, and 6 Carolina Chickadees.
In 2016, 72 Eastern Bluebirds fledged. Surprisingly there were no other species on the trail in 2016. House Sparrows, while still somewhat active at a couple of boxes, remain only a limited problem.
Data is entered into the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project Nest Watch database (http://nestwatch.org/)
Plans for the “off season” are to replace or remove some boxes at Valley Water Mill Park and repair a couple of other existing boxes along the trail. Some additional monitoring may be done at Lost Hill Park in 2017.
Information On Eastern Bluebirds
Attracting Bluebirds To Your Property