Bluebird Trail

Eastern Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebirds

What is a Bluebird Trail? It is a series of specifically constructed Bluebird nesting boxes, set up at appropriate intervals in keeping with the bluebird’s territorial requirements. Bluebird Trails have been established in many areas and are monitored by volunteers to maximize nesting success and record data on nesting box usage. Over the years, Bluebird Trails have played a major role in bringing Bluebird populations back after they had been decreasing for many years.

On the May 1960 census, only six Bluebirds were recorded by the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club in Dutchess County. Florence Germond began the Dutchess County Bluebird Trail in 1962 with 22 nest boxes and that year two broods of Bluebirds were successfully fledged, for a total of six young from the same nest box on Willowbrook Road in Stanford. She continued to coordinate and expand the trail until her death in 1994. Susan Gilnack has been coordinator since 2010. To contact her, send email to bluebird1@watermanbirdclub.org.

The club currently monitors 467 nest boxes throughout Dutchess County on public and private land.  There are an average of 19 trail monitors that check each nest box weekly and record the data from mid-March through September.  Since 1962 they have fledged a total of 29,714 Bluebirds!

For a detailed set of instructions and diagrams for building your own bluebird nest boxes, click here. 

Below are the results from recent years. You can see results from 2009 forward by clicking here. Also browse the data from 1960-2008 to see what a difference the Dutchess County Bluebird Trail has made over the years.

For more information on bluebird trails throughout the United States, and to learn what you can do in your own yard for bluebirds, check out the North American Bluebird Society’s website or the New York State Bluebird Society’s website.

Dutchess County Bluebird Trail Data

Species nesting201620152014201320122011
Eastern bluebird
Number eggs126582812039741193824
Number hatched1016701998758955751
Number fledged935594920670823666
Total number of boxes467432510433377328
Bluebirds fledged/box2.01.41.81.52.22.0
Other species (number fledged)
Tree swallow658844911597645482
Black-capped chickadee16581317
Tufted titmouse
White-breasted nuthatch
House wren294227265185172201
House sparrow81894
European starling
Brown-headed cowbird1