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April 5, 2014

Early bluebird experience captures nature lover for life

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Avoid cold early mornings, as the female is likely sitting on the eggs then.

Such discreet monitoring will not cause the bluebirds to abandon the nests, as some people fear. 

This also allows people to take a quick peek at the blue eggs, and, finally, the baby birds. It’s one of the rewards of setting up nest boxes and can be inspiring for children, Rogers said.

“They can look in a nest box and see the babies, and it opens their mind to nature,” he said. “Kids these days are always looking at a computer terminal — they don’t get out in nature.” 

NEST BOXES HELP

In addition, setting up nest boxes is a way that people can genuinely help bluebirds. Bluebirds nest in the holes of dead trees, and there is now a shortage of such sites. 

Rogers calls this an environmental problem that “amateurs can do something about.”

He noted: “You can’t do a lot for some species in decline, but you certainly can help bluebirds, just by putting up nest boxes.”

Rogers will give a presentation about bluebirds and bluebird nest boxes on Sunday, April 6, in Clinton Community College’s Stafford Theater. 

It’s a talk that he has presented more than 500 times, all over the East Coast and as far afield as Nebraska.

BUTTERFLIES

Rogers’s presentation uses images and sounds to describe the lives of bluebirds. A few wildflowers and butterflies are thrown in for good measure — for example, a butterfly known as the mourning cloak (also called the grand surprise and the Camberwell beauty), which is a harbinger of spring.

Unlike many butterflies, mourning cloaks hibernate as adults and awaken in the spring. Thus, the sight of their brown wings, marked by purple-blue iridescent spots, is a sign that spring is here.

And when spring is here, bluebirds will be nesting once again.

IF YOU GO WHAT: "All About Bluebirds -- And More," by John Rogers, a presentation hosted by the New York State Bluebird Society. WHERE: Clinton Community College's Stafford Theater, Plattsburgh. WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6. COST: Free. Refreshments available. Nest boxes and mounting poles available for purchase at special rates.

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