Bird Research / Management
In the late 70s and 80s bluebirds plunged to alarmingly low numbers. Ice storms on their wintering grounds, a loss of nesting habitat due to habitat conversion and poor nesting success up north contributed to a 90 percent reduction in bluebirds here in less than 50 years.
Alarmed about this situation, Wisconsin DNR's Bureau of Endangered Resources approached citizen groups around the state back in the winter of 1986 to stimulate interest in starting an artificial nest box program to bring back this imperiled species.
In the past 23 years, the bluebird population has made an astounding recovery in Wisconsin and is now at a 45-year high, likely due to nest boxes installed across the state. In fact, Wisconsin leads the nation in rebuilding the bluebird population from artificial nest boxes.
Bluebirds are territorial and need at least one to three acres and up to 20 acres of land to collect food. The open land of the Potawatomi Red Deer Ranch provide just this type of habitat and should support a healthy bluebird population. In summer 2010, FCPC Wildlife installed 10 bluebird boxes at the Red Deer Ranch this summer to promote bluebird nesting and populations in the area. Boxes will be checked every summer for nests and young.
The FCPC Wildlife program is collaborating with Wisconsin DNR and the Northwoods Loon Protection Program to conduct research designed to evaluate the population status of common loons in northern Wisconsin and to recommend management strategies to maintain a healthy population in Wisconsin into the future.