Thursday, April 21, 2016

Volunteers needed for nest monitoring at Hutton Lake NWR

Brian Waitkus repairing older nest boxes at Hutton.
Laramie Audubon Society has installed 21 nest boxes at Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge. These boxes will be used by Tree Swallows and possibly Mountain Bluebirds or House Wrens. We need volunteers for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Citizen Science Project NestWatch. This will involve checking nest boxes every 3-4 days (or once per week) in the mid-afternoon and completing a data sheet online. You must be certified as a nest-watcher. This is easy to do by going online to NestWatch's nest monitoring protocol. LAS will be numbering and mapping the boxes prior to monitoring for easy identification on the data sheets.

If you would like to volunteer, you may sign up for one week or many weeks. You may sign up for a few, many or all of the nest boxes. Hopefully, we can get enough people involved to make it less time consuming for the observers. This will require quite a bit of walking since the refuge is now closed to vehicular traffic except along designated roadways. You will also need a mirror attached to a long handle (back-scratchers at Dollar Tree are one dollar!) to see inside the boxes to count the eggs. The nest boxes are located along the perimeter fencing of the refuge. The refuge is located about 7.5 miles southwest of Laramie. We would like to begin monitoring in mid-May.

Please call Vicki Henry at 307-760-9518 or email her at with your interest or questions. Vicki will be coordinating volunteers for the scheduling of observation dates.

One of the many nest boxes built by Eagle Scout Bradley Wahlgren and installed at Hutton last fall.

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