Bluebird Project

Welcome to Jones County Conservation Bluebird Monitoring Project.  


Please help us!!


We are looking for volunteers to monitor bluebird houses and identify the type of birds that are nesting in them.  Since you are already here at the trail why not help out?


It’s easy!  All you need to do is peek into the box and record what you see.


Below are some maps of where the boxes are located in the conservation areas.  There is a link next to each map where you can click to enter your data.

How To Help Monitor Our Boxes:

STEP 1 - Knock on the box.  This will ensure that any adult birds fly away before you open it.


STEP 2 - Find the nail on the right side of the box and pull it out.  This will allow the door to swing down to view inside. Put the nail in your pocket after you pull it out so you don’t lose it.  


STEP 3 - Open the door slowly.


STEP 4 - Identify the species of bird living there.  Use the fact sheet below to do this. Do NOT remove the nest.  Native Iowa birds are protected by law. 

North American Bluebird Society Monitoring Fact Sheet

STEP 5 - Record what you on find by following the link located by the map of the area you are monitoring.  If you don’t have a way to electronically record your data just write down what you see and send it to,  Jones County Conservation Attn: Naturalist, 12515 Central Park Rd.  Center Junction, IA 52212, or enter in your data when you get home.  


STEP 6 - Close the lid and put the nail back into the box.


Thank you for helping Jones County Conservation monitor bluebird nests.  


In addition to providing homes for bluebirds we are also conducting research.  The “skylight” that is located on some of the box lids is thought to ward off unwanted birds from nesting there.  Half of the boxes that were put up at this site include the skylight. We are collecting this data to see if the skylight is effective.


Project Goals

Goal #1: Provide community members the opportunity to monitor bluebird houses around Jones County Conservation areas.


Goal #2: Conduct research on the effectiveness of the “skylight”.  The idea is that the skylight detours unwanted birds from nesting in boxes designed for bluebirds.  


Goal #3: Educate community members on the different types of birds that could nest in bluebird boxes by providing identification resources.

Thanks to Molly Crock and Family, Jones County Youth Conservation Crew, Spahn and Rose Lumber Company, JCCB Staff, and The UNI IOWA STEM TEACHER EXTERNSHIP program. 

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