Tough Year for Mtn Bluebirds

Female Mountain Bluebird

Our Legacy/Rotary trail had significant declines in breeding success for both the Mountain Bluebird and Tree Swallow in 2021.

This poor turnout is typical across North America in 2021. Friends in Colorado and Nebraska report drastic declines.

Christmas Bird Count in the Oklahoma panhandle reports
sightings of only 60 Mountain Bluebirds this year compared to 4000 last year.

Large trails in Nebraska report more than a 50% decline in Mountain Bluebird occupancy rates.

Many theories have been suggested, two appear to make sense. Icy weather last winter in Oklahoma and Texas may have resulted in an abnormal winter-kill of our birds. Many birders are also noticing a huge reduction in insect load this and last year resulting in lower nesting success.

Years like this give us the perfect reason to do what we do. This is really when the species need our help to survive.

Hopefully the coming winter will be kinder to these birds.

Ron Reist
Legacy’s Mountain Bluebird Trail Monitor

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