Summary of the program:
When I returned to Bard in August, I had an article ready to submit to the Hungarian Birding Association Magazine. I only needed a few more pictures to illustrate. While I took the pictures showing working on the nesting boxes, I was happy to see that all of them (12 boxes) were taken and all of them had a successful hatch.
Later on when Bill Maple and I needed to think about the feeding season I designed a squirrel proof feeder, but as soon as I was ready with the professionally designed plans I received the newest issue of the Audubon Magazine. I saw exactly the same designed feeder in it called the “effortless feeder”. Mr. Maple got in touch with the company and they offered us 6 feeders for a very reasonable prize. When we received them Bard Students from Bill’s ‘field studies’ class put them together and placed them all around the busiest campus spots. I heard back from students that this is a good idea and they were asking about the program. I think our program is getting to be more and more well know by the Brad Community. It takes a little time but we just started, and I am very positive. So we were feeding on these feeders from late October until April. I believe we have fed around almost half Ton -or even more- of seed, which is quiet a lot. The Bard Arboretum program covered our expenses, but in the future we need to find other springs, where the money could come from. Bill, I and an other voluntary Bardian did the feedings ~2-4 times a week, or whenever they were empty.
In September I started to collect lumber from the Bard Theater’s dumpster. They throw out very useful pieces of wood, which are perfect materials for bird houses! 🙂 So we did not need to buy anything, just the screws what I brought from Hungary:) It took me quiet a while to finish 30 new boxes, but I am also in school and I am doing two degrees at Bard (and the third one in Hungary right now). 🙂 When the mating and nesting season started I placed out 15 boxes for bluebirds. They started to check them out asap I left. It was a happy moment when I saw them doing it. The Bard College Buildings & Grounds team gave us paint to paint the boxes so they will serve birds for a longer longer period. They are also very helpful when we need tools and other help.
I could not hang all of the boxes. Only 15 out of 32 because of the busy semester ending, but I am going back to Bard in late June so I could do it then. They will be ready for next spring.
I also have two “half ready” drinking stations which I will place out during the summer.