Bluebird Attraction Program
Montgomery's Beautification Committee undertook an ambitious project to assemble 50 bluebird houses in February. After assembly, the bluebird houses were installed at various locations throughout the Village, starting with ideal bluebird habitat areas.
Bluebirds like to be near water, tall grass and within easy flight range of trees. The Village's naturalized areas, water basins, river bank and river island areas, and the Parkview Estates water management areas will be areas of emphasis initially.
Urban development and competition from other animals have discouraged bluebirds in this area, and the Beautification Committee hopes to attract them back with this project. Once bluebirds nest and hatch young in a particular area, the young tend to come back to their "birthplace" in successive years. If the bluebird houses are able to attract bluebirds back to this area, there is an excellent chance that they will continue to return each year and re-populate Montgomery again.
This program also needs volunteers to help manage the birdhouses once they are installed. This would include observing them from time to time to alert the Village to any vandalism or repair needs, cleaning the house in the spring as bluebirds prefer to start with a clean nesting place each year, and helping to photograph these beautiful creatures. Bluebirds especially like mealworms for food, and volunteers will also be needed to manage feeding stations to initially help attract migrating bluebirds to once again make their home in Montgomery.
The committee hopes to install 50 additional bluebird houses each year until the entire Village has been served sufficiently by this effort to restore one of nature's beautiful creatures to our community. For additional information, please email Trustee Stan Bond or call him at (630) 440-1007.
Tree swallows are another ideal tenant for bluebird houses. They get along well with bluebirds and have the benefit of eating huge amounts of mosquitos! According to veteran bluebirder Dick Tuttle, adult Tree Swallows consume 2,000 insects and feed 6,000 insects to their young over a 45 day nesting period. That means that each nestbox family consumes more than 300,000 insects. Since 90% of their hunting takes place below 39 feet, they make a real dent in human pestering insect populations.
May 2012 update: This is a tree swallow who has made a nest in a new birdhouse in the Foxmoor subdivision. They're not as blue as bluebirds, but very pretty in their own right with irridescent blue feathers. These are the mosquito eaters, too! Three houses now have tree swallow nests, some with eggs.
A bluebird was spotted sitting on top of one of the birdhouses, so they are in the area. Still waiting for our first bluebird nest though.