Bluebird Trail at McCabe Preserve

The McCabe Preserve is a beautifully diverse landscape situated along Delaware’s Broadkill river and houses an array of plants and wildlife. Over the years TNC staff have been working to restore and enhance this special place for the flora and fauna that call McCabe home. This seasons enhancement project was building a bluebird trail and we are very thankful to the 4-H youth development program for the hard work they dedicated to make this bluebird trail possible.

Together the group worked to construct ten bluebird boxes from scratch for the Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis). The project was very successful at engaging the local community with youth involvement to expand nesting habitat for the bluebirds at McCabe. Students were able to learn the benefits of bluebird trails as well as the ecology of McCabe preserve during the project.     


4-H students constructed 10 birdboxes for eastern bluebirds at McCabe Preserve in Delaware. © The Nature Conservancy

Over the past century, bluebird trails have dramatically increased bluebird populations. It is thought that the eastern bluebird population may have plummeted by 90% due to cavity competition and habitat loss. 4-H students were sure to be conscious of the cavity competition eastern bluebirds have with other non-native and more aggressive bird species by making the holes to the box specifically sized for bluebirds. This small and beautifully colored songbird’s population is on the rise thanks in part to bluebird trails. 

Visitors to McCabe Preserve can expect to see the bluebird trail running the preserve’s forest edge and facing the open fields. The eastern bluebird’s preferred habitat is in open areas where they can easily forage for insects and gather nesting materials.

Next time you visit Milton, Delaware, we encourage you to stop by The Nature Conservancy’s McCabe Preserve and see if you can spot the bluebirds settling into their new homes. Nesting season is right around the corner!


4-H students constructed 10 birdboxes for eastern bluebirds at McCabe Preserve in Delaware. © The Nature Conservancy



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