SJ Audubon General Meeting Tuesday March 8 at 7:00 pm. "The Bluebird of Happiness." (Zoom)
MARCH 8, TUESDAY, 2022 7:00PM PST (Zoom)
Topic: “The Bluebird of Happiness”
Presenter: Mike Azevedo and Georgette Howington
[If you have difficulty with this link, go to
The zoom link will appear at the bottom of the announcement.]
BLUEBIRDS. The word “bluebirds” suggests springtime, beauty, and joy. Indigenous peoples thought bluebird sightings were symbols of hope, renewal, and love. Henry David Thoreau adored them, many songs refer to bluebirds and we all know “Over the Rainbow”. Sadly, once upon a time, bluebird populations suffered greatly because of loss of habitat and pesticide use. People removed sick, dead trees to prevent personal injury and for fire suppression thus, natural cavities became more and more scarce,
Nest boxes are a suitable substitution for natural cavities if placed in appropriate habitat and monitored. In the late 1990’s, Don Yoder founded “The California Bluebird Recovery Program” to help bluebirds by installing nest boxes on trails throughout California. Since then, over 16,000 successful fledges have been recorded annually. That’s approximately 400,000 baby birds. And not just bluebirds because the bluebird nest box is used by many other species as well: Titmice, Tree swallows, Chickadees, Ash-throated Flycatchers, to name a few. We also promote the conservation of all the cavity nesters.
County Coordinators, Mike Azevedo and Georgette Howington will explain what we can do to help these birds. They will share resources and even offer coaching if you’d like to start a trail or have backyard nest boxes. (How’s the population doing now? Slowly coming back but they ARE back in many areas!)
Mike Azevedo has been the County Coordinator for Santa Clara County with the California Bluebird Recovery Program since 2009. Mike has been a Science Camp naturalist, park ranger and merit badge counselor for nature related merit badges for years. Mike is compiler of the San Jose Audubon Christmas Bird Count and has worked with Santa Clara Audubon Society closely since becoming involved. Mike is working with Sequoia Audubon Society on a project to save the Western Purple Martin, a species of special concern that is battling habitat loss, deadly competition with the introduced European Starling and food source crash due to the rampant use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Together with Georgette Howington, Mike is an editor of the CBRP Facebook Page and is currently working on books and videos encouraging the use of native plants and nest boxes and habitat improvement in general.
Georgette Howington is the State Assistant Program Director and Contra Costa and Alameda County Coordinator for the California Bluebird Recovery Program, and has been a nest box monitor for 24 years. Georgette stages community exhibits, is a speaker and works with Eagle Scout candidates and provides new monitor’s personal coaching. As a conservationist in the SF East Bay area, for over thirty years, she’s been a contributing member and or supporter of organizations such as California Garden Clubs, Mt. Diablo Audubon Society, Raptors Are The Solution, and various land trusts, among others. Georgette is a horticulturist and certified as a UC Davis Naturalist of the Mt. Diablo Region, as well as a published writer and poet. She lives with her husband Bruce, their cat Bodhi and two demanding Goldfish.
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86200633815?pwd=RmY2YllrMW1PVnpXYmRoeTNuSG5lZz09#success
[Flying Bluebird © Dale Smith 2016]
Alan England, Stockton