The Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush with a big, rounded head, large eye, plump body, and alert posture. The wings are long, but the tail and legs are fairly short. The bill is short and straight. Male Eastern Bluebirds are vivid, deep blue above and rusty or brick-red on the throat and breast. Blue in birds always depends on the light, and males often look plain gray-brown from a distance. Females are grayish above with bluish wings and tail, and a subdued orange-brown breast. Eastern Bluebirds perch erect on wires, posts, and low branches in open country, scanning the ground for prey. They feed by dropping to the ground onto insects or, in fall and winter, by perching on fruiting trees to gulp down berries. Bluebirds commonly use nest boxes as well as old woodpecker holes. Eastern Bluebirds live in meadows and openings surrounded by trees that offer suitable nest holes. With the proliferation of nest boxes and bluebird trails, bluebirds are now a common sight along roads, field edges, golf courses, and other open areas.
Conservation of Eastern Bluebirds
Bluebird populations fell in the early twentieth century as aggressive introduced species such as European Starlings and House Sparrows made available nest holes increasingly difficult for bluebirds to hold on to. In the 1960s and 1970s establishment of bluebird trails and other nest box campaigns alleviated much of this competition, especially after people began using nest boxes designed to keep out the larger European Starling. Eastern Bluebird numbers have been recovering since.
Bird City Wisconsin
In March 2002, leading bird conservation organizations in Wisconsin created a cooperative partnership called the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), which is part of the National Bird Conservation Initiative. The goal of this coalition is to work in close coordination to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation statewide, emphasizing voluntary stewardship.
To date, 167 organizations -- from the statewide Audubon Council to local bird clubs and bird-related businesses -- have endorsed WBCI's principles in support of bird conservation. These include:
Coordinate the efforts of private and public landowners and institutions, and all citizens who care for birds
Focus on the full array of wild bird species
Promote voluntary partnerships
Promote conservation based on the best available scientific information
Take an ecological landscape approach
Share knowledge to encourage voluntary stewardship and bird-based recreation.
The West Branch of the Fond du Lac River does not currently pass park land, but is bordered for a mile on the City’s west side—along both banks—by city land saved as open space and flood plain mitigation. This area is known by local birders looking for migrating passerines, particularly where Hickory St. crosses the river. Hundreds of mallard ducks have been found wintering in the small tributaries that feed this stretch of the river. In the summer Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons stand along its banks hunting for crayfish, frogs and minnows in the shallow waters. Belted Kingfishers patrol the area and find nesting areas in the protected habitat.
Access to the trail and area is in the back of the parking lot off of Pioneer road. Coordinates N 43 45.303 W 088 27.118
The cache is available in winter although depending on the weather it may not be winter friendly. Also, winter can change the terrain and difficulty. It is WI after all.
Congratulations to JimandLinda on FTF!