Como Park Bluebird Trail update*:
*Scroll below for historic trail updates. Bluebird Trail updates have migrated to our blog, Restore Saint Paul.
What is the Como Park Bluebird Trail?
Como Regional Park is a wonderful place to adopt and raise a flock of bluebirds. The popular park, with its expansive, grassy fields, provides a wealth of opportunities for bluebirds to hunt for insects to feed their hatchlings. Bluebirds are cavity nesters, meaning they search for holes in dead trees or old fence posts in which to make their nests. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of these potential homes around.
With permission, many individuals, from children to seniors, help bluebirds find nesting places to raise their young by putting up nest boxes along bluebird “trails” in parks, cemeteries, golf courses, and other fields. Volunteers who serve as trail monitors check the boxes at least once a week during the nesting season to make sure no problems occur.
When bluebirds find an acceptable nest box, they make gather nesting materials from brown grass and long pine needles, weaving them skillfully into a cup inside the box. Eventually, they lay up to five pale blue eggs twice a year, beginning in late April and continuing through August. The eggs hatch after about two weeks, and the young birds are ready to fledge about 16 to 21 days after hatching.
The Como Park Bluebird Trail began in 2008 with nine nest boxes mounted on telephone poles around the park. From these boxes, 12 young bluebirds were fledged.
In 2009, a new trail was developed with boxes placed in more suitable locations. Six post-mounted boxes were made by students in a stewardship class at Great River School, in partnership with Eco Education, and donated to the park. Six experimental hanging nest boxes were also tested in 2009
Como Golf Course has had a its own bluebird trail since 2005. The trail now has 14 boxes. From 2005 to 2008, a total of 125 young bluebirds have been successfully raised on the course.
Look for these beautiful birds when you’re at the park, and listen for their soft, lovely song.
For more information on bluebirds, check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website. For more information on bluebird trails, visit the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota website. Thank you to the volunteers of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and Como Golf Course for your hard work in and dedication to monitoring and maintaining these habitats and trails.