BRAW Informational Packet:

Attracting Eastern Bluebirds & Other Cavity Nesters

by Kent Hall, Ph. D. and Pat Ready, Editor  (26 pages)

This booklet pulls together the collective experiences of people who work especially in the interest of bluebirds, particularly those persons who record and summarize their  nest box data and whom we term monitors.

It is our hope that this Informational Packet  will bring you better understanding about how to succeed in helping this bird “with the sky on its back.”

Cover: Life cycle of the Eastern Bluebird (Photos by Pat Ready)

Information Package Content

Section 1


1.1 Why Monitor Eastern Bluebird Nest Boxes? 1.2 History of Bluebird Production in Wisconsin by BRAW Monitors. 1.3 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data – bluebirds are increasing 1.4 Comparison of Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow fledglings in 2005-12 time period. 1.5 Number of fledgling Eastern Bluebirds & Tree Swallows, and number of active nest-boxes, in the 1994 to 2012 time period. Note that most BRAW monitors dropped paired boxes by 1997 and most dropped crowded single boxes by 2002. 1.6 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data – bluebirds per route 1.7 Relative Abundance of cavity nesting songbirds in 2006 and 2010. 1.8 BRAW management practices that are thought to have improved Eastern Bluebird production on the Audubon and other Bluebird Trails.




Section 2


2.1 Location, Location, Location 2.2 Relocation 2.3 Box Style/Dimensions 2.4 Spacing 2.5 Nest, Egg & Chick Removal for bluebirds, chickadees, Tree Swallows (1,2,3,4) and House Wrens (4): Procedures approved by USFWS in Dec., 2006 2.6 Common Predators of Bluebirds: Raccoons, House Sparrows and Black Flies, and Woodpeckers. 2.7 Direction of Opening 2.8 Common Myths Associated With Bluebird Monitoring. 2.9 Natural History Information for Cavity Nesting Songbirds: 2002-2012. 2.10 What kind of nest box should I use for a bluebird trail? 2.11 Monitoring Instructions. (p. 10) 2.12 Nest Guide to Cavity Nesters by Patrick Ready/BRAW 2.13 Individual Nestbox Weekly Field Record / Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin, Inc.




Section 3


3.1 Fence post mounting system 3.2 3/4” Conduit Mounting System 3.3 NABS style Bluebird Box, plan 3.4 Peterson Nest Box (Unvented), plan 3.5 The “K” Bluebird Nest Box, plan 3.6 Resources for bluebirders: 3.61 County Coordinators can help you. 3.62 School and Youth Outreach 3.63 Recommended Reading 3.64 Bluebird chick development– first 14 days by Jack Bartholmai 3.65 Annual Bird Nesting Survey Summary





This Info Pack is available for only $2 a copy.

If interested click HERE  and send email to

Our Membership Coordinator, Valerie Van Winkle

Guidelines for Successful Monitoring of

Eastern Bluebird Nest Boxes

By Kent D. Hall, Ph.D.

Helpful Tips

Section 1


1.1 Why Monitor Eastern Bluebird Nest Boxes? 1.2 History of Bluebird Production in Wisconsin by BRAW Monitors. 1.3 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data – bluebirds are increasing 1.4 Comparison of Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallow fledglings in 2005-12 time period. 1.5 Number of fledgling Eastern Bluebirds & Tree Swallows, and number of active nest-boxes, in the 1994 to 2012 time period. Note that most BRAW monitors dropped paired boxes by 1997 and most dropped crowded single boxes by 2002. 1.6 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data – bluebirds per route 1.7 Relative Abundance of cavity nesting songbirds in 2006 and 2010. 1.8 BRAW management practices that are thought to have improved Eastern Bluebird production on the Audubon and other Bluebird Trails.




Section 2


2.1 Location, Location, Location 2.2 Relocation 2.3 Box Style/Dimensions 2.4 Spacing 2.5 Nest, Egg & Chick Removal for bluebirds, chickadees, Tree Swallows (1,2,3,4) and House Wrens (4): Procedures approved by USFWS in Dec., 2006 2.6 Common Predators of Bluebirds: Raccoons, House Sparrows and Black Flies, and Woodpeckers. 2.7 Direction of Opening 2.8 Common Myths Associated With Bluebird Monitoring. 2.9 Natural History Information for Cavity Nesting Songbirds: 2002-2012. 2.10 What kind of nest box should I use for a bluebird trail? 2.11 Monitoring Instructions. (p. 10) 2.12 Nest Guide to Cavity Nesters by Patrick Ready/BRAW 2.13 Individual Nestbox Weekly Field Record / Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin, Inc.




Section 3


3.1 Fence post mounting system 3.2 3/4” Conduit Mounting System 3.3 NABS style Bluebird Box, plan 3.4 Peterson Nest Box (Unvented), plan 3.5 The “K” Bluebird Nest Box, plan 3.6 Resources for bluebirders: 3.61 County Coordinators can help you. 3.62 School and Youth Outreach 3.63 Recommended Reading 3.64 Bluebird chick development– first 14 days by Jack Bartholmai 3.65 Annual Bird Nesting Survey Summary





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