What Makes a Home Nestbox Trail?
A nestbox trail at home can be as many or few boxes as you like. We recommend no more than 10 because of the time required to monitor the trail and the fact that you’ll need to do it on your own every week.
When and how often do I check the boxes?
Monitoring runs from early April through the end of August. In February or early March, get your nest boxes set up or cleaned up and ready for the season, gather up your supplies and prepare your data collection notebook. Sign up and let us know you’ll be monitoring and where.
A standard monitoring protocol is used at all of our trails. The data collection forms should be kept in a binder at your trail along with the monitoring equipment so you have easy access to it each week.
All of the forms and other information that you need can be found here.
What do I do with the data?
By September 15, tally up your trail data on the End of Season Summary form and send it in to the Bluebird Monitoring program coordinator. We’ll compile it along with the rest of the trail data and send it in to the Virginia Bluebird Society.
Throughout the season, volunteers monitoring Loudoun trails can post on Facebook what they have seen that week along the trail and ask and answer questions. It’s a nice way to hear from others who went out into the field, peeking in nestboxes and to share our knowledge.