Eastern bluebird

The decades-long conservation and restoration of Eastern Bluebirds in Delaware County continue today through the efforts of many dedicated and committed trail monitors and nest box builders. The Birding Club of Delaware County (BCDC) is pleased to support bluebird monitoring across the county. Each spring and summer, dozens of volunteer monitors fan out across the county to check their assigned bluebird trails. They visit boxes once a week to document details about nesting, egg-laying, hatching, chicks, and fledglings. The Delaware County coordinators, Margaret Bue and Frank Steinmiller, compile all data at the end of the season, and submit to the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania for use in research, education, and influencing conservation priorities.

  • The Birding Club of Delaware County (BCDC) supports the bluebird program, both financially and through its members. Numerous BCDC members participate in the seasonal monitoring and care of bluebirds and their nest boxes. BCDC has also provided financial support to an inventory of nest boxes used in the county.
  • The Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania (BSP), founded in 1998, is a statewide organization whose mission is multifaceted, encompassing bluebird care and monitoring, research, and educational opportunities. Bluebird nest box data is collected annually in Delaware County and sent to BSP.
  • Tyler Arboretum has been an essential and active partner in support of bluebird care in the county since program inception; the Arboretum identifies the bluebird activity to be its oldest volunteer program.

In 2023 in Delaware County, 343 nest boxes at 19 sites yielded 585 fledged bluebirds – note details in chart below.

If you are interested in volunteering to monitor bluebird nest boxes, contact BirdingClubDelco@gmail.com for more information.

This chart shows the annual counts of bluebirds fledged in Delaware County from 2007 through 2023.

Note annual reports below provided to the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania.

Acknowledgements: With great appreciation, BCDC recognizes the ongoing efforts of all Eastern Bluebird nest box monitors in Delaware County. We honor those who laid the foundation of the current efforts, and extend special thanks to:

  • C.U. Atkinson, William Kent, and Bob Bodine – early participants of bluebird monitoring activity until 2006;
  • Tom Reeves – longtime dedicated bluebird advocate and nest box monitor;
  • Suzanne Clauser – ongoing organizer of the bluebird monitoring program at Tyler Arboretum;
  • Alice Sevareid – Delaware County coordinator for the BSP from 2007 to 2020.
  • Margaret Bue and Frank Steinmiller – Delaware County coordinators for the BSP from 2021 to present.

As active birders in Delaware County who happily encounter bluebirds on our bird walks, we find it is worth recalling the efforts of many individuals – past and present – who have successfully managed to increase the number of these beautiful birds in our area.

Historical background: Organized efforts to increase the population of Eastern Bluebirds in Delaware County began in the early 1970s. Through observation of bluebird behavior at various locations in the county, including Tyler Arboretum in Media, several people recognized the potential of encouraging nesting with the use of nest boxes. C.U. Atkinson began the endeavor by securing six nest boxes from Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) and placing them directly onto tree trunks. By 1973, William Kent and Bob Bodine had taken on the nest box efforts at Tyler Arboretum and, by 1974, there were 28 nest boxes in place at Tyler Arboretum.