When BRAW was organized in 1986, it was estimated that the Eastern Bluebird population in its historic range had declined by 90% during the preceding 50 years due to changes in agriculture practices, competition from the House (English) Sparrow and European Starling, severe weather in its central and southern winter range, and the loss of nest sites, such as tree cavities and hollow wooden fence posts.
BRAW works to bring to light the efforts of Wisconsin citizens who had been helping bluebirds in the past and those who have recently joined their ranks. Since 1994, BRAW has entered monitors' data into a computer data base and as a result, through computer analysis of the data, it has gained great insights into the complexities of how management practices and box design affect bluebird population dynamics.
Through workshops, the Annual Membership meeting, and through publication of research findings in the Wisconsin Bluebird newsletter, BRAW shares successful birding techniques while hopefully avoiding some of the mistakes painfully learned by earlier bluebird enthusiasts.
BRAW seeks to expand public knowledge and enthusiasm for the Eastern Bluebird so that a growing number of people will have the desire to aid cavity nesters and have the knowledge about how to best accomplish this in their own communities.
The purpose and mission of BRAW is to monitor and increase the production of the Eastern Bluebird and other native cavity-nesting birds through a coordinated statewide nest box construction and monitoring program.
Goals are important in life to help us achieve what it is we set out to do. If you don’t accomplish the goal you set for yourself you keep trying until you are successful and then raise the bar and keep going. You won’t get as far in life without goals. BRAW has set a hefty goal of fledging 30,000 Eastern Bluebirds. We have fledged 28000 and the sky is the limit. It is important for monitors to check their boxes once a week during the season and send in the data. No one will know how the bluebirds are doing and what good is it if we don’t know if the populations of cavity nesters are going up or down if the data is not sent in? Spring storms can make bird populations plummet along with diseases and any number of problems. The life expectancy of a bluebird is said to be around three years. I think we should set our goals high and keep creating a win win situation for our Wisconsin cavity nesters.