Oakland Parks seeking volunteers to monitor nests

This activity is for the birds… literally.

Oakland Parks is currently seeking volunteers to help monitor nest boxes at several of their parks, including Addison Oaks in Leonard and Orion Oaks in Lake Orion, for the Eastern Bluebird and other native birds.

Those interested are invited to attend a free training class, held Sunday, March. 12, from 1-2 p.m. at Wint Nature Center.

The class will provide information about the birds, monitoring techniques and other volunteer requirements.

Nest boxes are monitored by volunteers through the Oakland County Parks and Recreation citizen science program and the nests are tracked in NestWatch through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York.

According to Oakland County Parks Recreation Program Supervisor Melissa Nawrocki, collected data will help monitor bird species within Oakland Parks and at a national level through Cornell.

Nawrocki listed the Eastern Bluebird as one of the main bird species which have benefited from the program.

“At one point, the Eastern Bluebird was a concerned species. The population numbers had dropped pretty significantly several years ago. The numbers have rebounded. A lot of the numbers rebounding is kind of credited to people starting to pay more attention to the species itself and watching these nests,” Nawrocki said.

Other species park officials hope to see nesting this year is the Tree Swallow and House Wren.

According to Nawrocki, just about anybody can get involved in the program and would be asked to check nest boxes weekly from April through July.

“It’s kind of a wide range of people who get involved. We have retirees all the way down to families who just want to have something to do as a group… parents are out there with the kids collecting the data. A lot of people enjoy doing it. It’s something they can do on their own. We ask that they check the nest every 3-4 days when there is actually activity going on so it’s not a set volunteer schedule. They can go out on their own time, as long as it’s within our park open hours. (The program) is open to almost everyone,” said Nawrocki.

Nesting boxes are located at Independence Oaks, Ryan Oaks, Orion Oaks, Highland Oaks, Addison Oaks, Groveland Oaks, and Waterford Oaks.

Pre-registration is required at least one day in advance.

To register or for more information, email volunteer@oakgov.com or call (248) 858-0916.

Wint Nature Center is located in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road in Clarkston.


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