Dunkirk observer, link to original post
Several members of the Lake Erie Bird Club recently participated in the Bluebird Bonanza program sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The event was held at Evangola State Park in Erie County. Park personnel welcomed those attending and discussed the many programs available at the parks. They then led a guided hike to see Eastern Bluebirds in a natural habitat. A bluebird trail of nest boxes is located through the park. Participants were delighted to see lovely Eastern Bluebirds as well as other bird species, including American robins, ring-billed gulls, American crows, red-bellied woodpecker, barn swallow, American goldfinch, chipping sparrow and song sparrow.
John Ruska, president of the New York State Bluebird Society, conducted a meeting for the bird club members and others who attended. Participants shared recent sightings including a bald eagle and a possum family crossing a road near Fredonia.
Ruska discussed the different types of bird field guides which are available and helpful to use when observing birds. With his Power Point presentation he was able to provide much bluebird information. He showed photos of the three bluebird species in North America (the Eastern Bluebird, the Western Bluebird and the Mountain Bluebird). Bluebirds are cavity nesters. He discussed the importance of keeping records and properly maintaining nest boxes.
In 1900 there were as many Eastern Bluebirds as American robins. By 1950, about 90 percent of the Eastern Bluebirds were lost due to development of farm land for housing developments resulting in the loss of natural tree cavities for the bluebird nests. Predators such as house sparrows, European starlings, raccoons, house cats and squirrels also contributed to the bluebird decline.
However, since about 2000, there has been about a 78 percent increase in the Eastern bluebird population in New York state. Part of this is due to the bluebird trails which are carefully maintained and monitored. One trail is located along US Route 20 and the other is along Route 11.
The next Lake Erie Bird Club event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Main Street Beach in Dunkirk. This will be a Lake Shore Excursion birding trip led by Terry Mosher to look for shorebirds and other wildlife.
On Monday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m., bird club members will meet at Russell Joy Park, Howard Street, Fredonia, upper pavilion, for their annual picnic. Members are asked to bring a dish to pass, their own table service and beverage. All who are interested in birds and wildlife are welcome to participate. Guests are always welcome to attend. For information about the Lake Erie Bird Club, call Joanne Goetz at 716-673-1627.