Saturday, April 26, 2014

Our Job Before Our “Official” Job

Our “official” job here at Farragut State Park starts Memorial Day weekend.  We will be the only interpretive hosts.  We have started doing research and thinking about programs, but more of that later.

When we were contacted by Errin, the volunteer ranger, she asked if we would be interested in arriving early and helping with school groups and Bluebird box monitoring.  Yesterday we met with the “Bluebird” Ranger, Jim. 

We have been assigned 52 bluebird boxes to monitor!  In a month or so, another couple will arrive that will help us.  But for now, we will check every box once a week.

We headed out to make sure we could find all the boxes and open a few of them, just to get some idea of how long this task will take us. 

The Mountain Bluebird is the state bird of Utah.  We also have plenty of Western Bluebirds here.
Mountain Bluebird
Bluebirds aren’t the only birds checking out the houses.  Tree Swallows are also in the area, looking for a home.  This group of Tree Swallows and Western Bluebirds were busy trying to run each other off.
 Tree Swallow
Western Bluebird
We decided to open a few of the boxes and take a peek inside. 
Ranger Jim had told us the boxes had been cleaned out, repaired, and were ready for the coming season.  We weren’t expecting to find a nest this early.
We certainly weren’t expecting to see eggs!
Bluebird eggs
Our job will be to open every box, keep data on date of first egg, number of eggs, number of young, number fledged, hatch date, fledge date and cause of nest failure.

It’s going to be a lot of work but should also be a lot of fun.


  1. Now that's an assignment I'd truly enjoy!

  2. It has rained every day. Tomorrow there is a 90% chance of rain/snow. The park is really nice but we haven't seen much of the area. It has got to stop raining one of these days!

  3. Sounds like a really neat assignment. Bluebirds are my favorite! Had boxes at our old house and they fledged several times a year. Guess we will need to get new boxes up here in Nauvoo.