Eastern Bluebirds Return to Yonkers

    The Eastern Bluebird (Sialis sialis) is a member of the thrush family. Their numbers dramatically declined over the last half of the 20th century. Their decline was due to disappearance of their habitat and unavailability of nesting cavities. Bluebirds would use old woodpecker holes to raise their young.  European Starlings and House Sparrows, aggressive birds introduced here, competed for these cavities. In these confrontations, bluebirds would nearly always lose. 

    But bluebird trail and nest box programs brought this species back to a healthy population. They are uncommonly seen in upper half of Westchester County. 

    With the efforts of Hudson River Audubon's Bluebird Committee, lead by Joe and Ellen  O'Connell, we placed boxes up at the Lenoir Nature Preserve. Lenoir Nature Preserve is a wildlife sanctuary that is part of Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. 

    On May 19, 2002, a pair of Bluebirds arrived back at Lenoir and below are a few pictures, along with some of their neighboring Tree Swallows. The Board of Hudson River Audubon have named them "Joe" and "Ellen". The area they nest in is roped off to prevent disturbance. Please enjoy these bird at a suitable distance. Pictures were taken through a 33X spotting scope. We were never closer than 50 feet to the boxes.

    Joe and Ellen are currently checking out boxes #12 and #13. 

For More information on Bluebirds visit  the NORTH AMERICAN BLUEBIRD SOCIETY website.

Bluebirds of Lenoir
Joe checks out box 13



Tree Swallow are also using some of the boxes. You can find them in boxes 4, 8 and 9 and probably a few others. They differ from eastern bluebirds by their slimmer appearance and lack any of the orange on the upper breast.

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