Volunteer Resources

Member and Monitors

As a Bluebird nest box Monitor, you are responsible to MBTCS to care for and maintain your trail, When you are no longer willing or able to look after your trail, contact MBT and let us know.

The Trail Master will find a new Monitor for the trail. If you know of someone who is interested, send their contact information with the notice of retiring so they can be registered as the Monitor for that trail.

Bluebirds may raise two clutches of young in a good year. Clean out the nest box after the bluebirds leave the nest to remove the parasites that collected in the nest material. Sometimes a new nest is built on top of the old nest before you get a chance to remove the old nest. Do not disturb the new nest.

Diseases and Dangers

Bluebird nest box monitors should use caution when they are cleaning out nests from their boxes. If a deer mouse has moved into the nest box and reworked the nest material there is the danger of breathing in hanta virus with the dust.

When cleaning out a bluebird box make sure you stand so that the wind blows the dust away from you. Wear gloves, and a face mask is a suggested if you are cleaning boxes with fixed floors and all of the nest material has to come out of the top of the box. After removing the old nest, no further cleaning is required unless there was a mouse nest in the box.

If that is the case, spray the walls, ceiling and floor with a 10% bleach solution. A mouse nest is a particular concern. Deer mice, one of our most common rodents, may carry the hantavirus, which can produce HPS (Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.) HPS can be a very severe condition and in a few cases has been fatal.

The danger to you comes from being in contact with the urine, or feces of infected mice. Breathing the dust can lead to infection. The hanta virus can produce flu-like symptoms in humans before it develops into something more serious.

Symptoms usually appear about two to three weeks after being exposed to the virus. These early symptoms include:

  • fever and chills
  • muscle aches (especially in large muscles like the thighs, hips, back and shoulders)
  • feeling very tired
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and belly pain

Getting Ready to Go!!!

Here are something you may need when you manage a bluebird trail.

  • Please see attachment from Jim
  • How to monitor Video
  • link to nestbox pattern and renovation quides

Bluebird Trail Orientation Day

June 2020   Please join us to see a working Bluebird Trail- and learn about the care and handling , and how we help the Bluebirds! The session runs 9 am to noon- leaving from the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. You will get a tour of a nearby trail so good walking shoes for rough terrain, your water bottle, and a hat for the heat of the day is essential!

  For more information please call Jim at 403-320-8970. Plan to join Us in October at the Helen Schuler Nature Center for our AGM and to see our new boxes and meet new monitors!