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People Helping Bluebirds - Interview with Barb Jensen

Partnership can be the key to conservation!
© George Gentry View Large

By the late 1950s, Western Bluebirds had disappeared from the San Juan Islands of Washington State. But in 2010, 84 young Western Bluebirds were banded on San Juan Island. How? Barbara Jensen, president of San Juan Islands Audubon, says: "The key to bringing this together has been the incredible enthusiasm of all the volunteers and the dedication of the partners." From American Bird Conservancy to the San Juan Preservation Trust to the Ecostudies Institute to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Great partnership!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
People Helping Bluebirds – Interview with Barb Jensen

Written by Todd Peterson

This is BirdNote.
[Song of Western Bluebird]
 By the late 1950s, Western Bluebirds had disappeared from the San Juan Islands of Washington State. The loss of food-rich grasslands and Garry Oaks for perching and nesting led to their absence. And the arrival of European Starlings, which compete with bluebirds for nesting cavities, was the last straw. 
 [Song of Western Bluebird]
 But that’s not the end of the story. In 2010, more than 60 Western Bluebirds were born on San Juan Island. How did that happen? Barbara Jensen, president of San Juan Islands Audubon tells us:
Track 36: 4:09 We started the program in 2007…Track 36: 14:01. The key to bringing this together… has been the incredible enthusiasm of all the volunteers and the dedication of the permanent staff of the partners. 14:34. These birds really touch people’s hearts …
Partners range from American Bird Conservancy to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. From a healthy and expanding population of Western Bluebirds at Fort Lewis, the partnership brought to the island an average of 10 pairs a year. Together, they put up 500 bluebird boxes and gained the support of landowners.
Track 36: 7:14. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m involved. I love people who call and tell me “I have bluebirds.” These people aren’t birders particularly. They love nature. (7:28) They get all the connections. These birds need habitat. They need cavities...That’s the excitement. Seeing other people getting excited about having bluebirds back in the San Juans after almost 50 years (7:56) People stop me on the street and ask, “How are our bluebirds doing?”
 [Song of Western Bluebird]
Welcome back, bluebirds! For BirdNote I’m Michael Stein.
###
Sounds of provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org     June 2011   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# WEBL-02-2011-06-25     sounds from 071607WEBLKPLU

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