California Bluebird Recovery Program

for Santa Barbara County

Western Bluebird © Hugh P. Smith.



California Bluebird Recovery Program

Over the years, bluebirds have lived and reproduced in California. However, development in rural areas has destroyed much of their preferred habitat.  Now their numbers are declining and we must take action to reverse the trend and prevent their total disappearance.

A down-to-earth conservation effort
– the larger the better – can make a difference

California is a state with wide variations in terrain, altitude and vegetation. There are many niches where bluebirds can be reestablished if cavities - nestboxes - are provided. Many people have not seen a bluebird in years in areas in which they used to be residents or frequent visitors.

There are many ways to help cavity nesting species. While we particularly emphasize bluebird recovery, we welcome any cavity nester. All native species are a part of the natural scene and their preservation is of utmost importance to our own survival. We invite your inquiry and earnest participation.

We want to share the fun and excitement we experience when bluebird fledglings leave the nest to take their place among the trees and the grasslands.

A network of County Coordinators provides close contact with individuals who maintain their own nestbox trails. Questions and problems do arise and local help is usually available.

Participation by more people, the selection of good habitat, and the provision of proper boxes can make an impact on the survival rate and numbers of bluebirds. We are already seeing results throughout the State.

Our aims for this Program are to:

  • enlist current bluebirders and recruit others who will help reestablish bluebirds in their normal habitat;

  • find typical habitat for the placement of nestboxes suitable for use by bluebirds;

  • secure monitors to care for the boxes and keep systematic records of the development of young birds during the nesting season;

  • record and analyze all annual summaries of nestbox records;

  • provide a forum (newsletter) through which fellow trail operators can exchange information and secure help in solving problems encountered in the field.