Saving Canada’s Mountain Bluebird | Our Canada

Mountain bluebird box on trailPhoto: Veronica Reist

Monitoring the boxes on my mountain bluebird trail

Conservation and the satisfaction from interacting with nature allows me to slow down and enjoy the sights and smells of this beautiful country we call Canada.

Spending time on my trail allows me to witness many other incredible events as well, including viewing newborn deer and moose, the first crocuses blooming in spring, the constant serenade of the male American robin, and the intoxicating fragrance of the silver willow. Nature can provide a nice contrast to the stress-filled lives some of us lead.

Monitoring my trail, which includes cleaning the boxes in spring and fall, and tracking the number of nests, eggs, young and fledglings, has brought many highlights. Recovering adult bluebirds and tree swallows, banded by myself or other conservationists hundreds of miles away, is very satisfying.

This year, I discovered that three of last year’s young bluebirds, banded (by me) in the same nest, came back from wintering down south to start a family of their own. I regularly recover banded female bluebirds and tree swallows banded on my or other trails. My oldest bluebird to date was eight, while the oldest tree swallow was nine.

Don’t miss these great Canadian bird stories.

Banding mountain bluebirdsPhoto: Veronica Reist

Sharing my passion for mountain bluebirds

Over the years, my boxes have housed other species, including house wrens, chickadees and even flying squirrels. It’s like opening a Christmas present each time a box is checked!

Another benefit of this passion is sharing it with others. Friends, neighbours, school children and family members have all witnessed how patient these species are. My wife, Veronica, enjoys tagging along to photograph them. Our six grandchildren are now old enough to appreciate this wonder of nature and enjoy accompanying us. Hopefully, one of them will take over the trail when my knees can no longer keep up with my heart.

Check out 15 more beautiful Canadian birds captured on camera.

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