SNCA Bluebird Trail
In 2021, SNCA started a bluebird trail (of four nesting boxes) along the central campus path near the Native
Peace Garden. These natural wood boxes are mounted on poles six feet high. Two of them feature a clear
plastic partition inside a box door marked “View,” so chicks can be viewed in their nest without disruption. But,
of all the songbirds in the area why help bluebirds?
One factor is that the Eastern Bluebird is native to the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys. As with the cultivation
of native plants in our Native Peace Garden, the Center strives to preserve and encourage the area's natural
environment. Providing bluebird boxes is consistent with that mission.
Across the Eastern U.S. the bluebird population fell drastically during the 20th century as its habitat
shrank and competition from aggressive invasive species, especially the English sparrow, rose for cavity
nesting sites. However, man-made nesting boxes are helping the bluebird population recover nicely.
Also, bluebirds are with us all year: males begin checking out potential nesting sites in mid-February. This
species may fledge two or three broods through mid-August. Then, as the weather turns colder males seek
winter berries in small flocks, and crowd into nest boxes to roost.
Finally, the male wears a brilliant blue feather coat year-round, complemented by his bright orange vest. If
these native avians nest in our present boxes the SNCA bluebird trail may lengthen, and - even in bleakest
winter - streaks of brilliant blue will increase across our campus.