BUBBA SPEAKS # 8 Jan 27, 2016 HAPPY NEW YEAR - NJBBS MEMBERS:
Looking ahead to the 2016 nesting season, let’s keep our fingers crossed the winter is not too hard on our bluebirds. While the past 2 winters had a direct (winterkill) and an indirect (reproductive suppression) impact on our bluebird population, a good number of bluebirds produced young during the 2015 nesting season. I am, however, seeing an average 30-40% reduction in numbers fledged last year in southern NJ, with some trails not producing any bluebirds and others producing good numbers. I am still getting reports in for the 2015 season so have not finished the report of last years breeding season. Right now all we can do is wait and see what happens in 2016.
The NJBBS is always looking to increase our membership and improve our organization. Gary Pilling is working on a pamphlet to hand out at various events, including: a talk in Franklinville February 4; the Feb. 6, 2016 Eagle Fest in Mauricetown; a March 10 training session at FREC in Jackson; and, the Bluebird Festival in New Egypt is May 7, 2016. It will be available for those who have events planned.
We need help in the following areas:
* Someone to produce a newsletter twice a year. Computer experience is required. I have newsletters from Tennessee and Pennsylvania as possible examples.
* We are always looking for County Coordinators to coordinate activities in their respective areas. Activities could include presentations to civic groups, organizing community projects (similar to the Alcyon Lake project), establish bluebird trails, or promote proper bluebird management.
Dave Gilcrest, Gloucester County Coordinator recently agreed to assume responsibilities coordinating the collection of data for NJBBS’s annual bluebird production. We are working on a simplified form that can be downloaded and mailed to Dave by October 1 of each year. More info to follow.
We are progressing in many areas, including: making contacts with Picitanny Aresnal, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, Duke Farms, partnering with Gloucester County Nature Club, Ocean and Atlantic County Parks, Atlantic Audubon Society, and Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River to name a few. The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is and has been very involved benefiting bluebirds on their refuge.
We have a convenient place in central NJ (FREC) to hold meetings, NJBBS now has representation on the NABS Board of Directors, and I am always working on establishing more bluebird trails with monitors. I hope to organize more plantings of native berry producing shrubs in 2016. We should have some matching money in our treasury to promote this approach. Let’s not sell ourselves short. Get involved, become active and make promoting bluebirds a routine part of your lives. People love bluebirds!
We are only as good as our members. As our membership grows so will our professionalism and abilities to improve our organization.