Trudy Chatwin, Chair of GOERT’s Vertebrates at Risk RIG, writes:
In May 1989, when my twins were four years old, we watched Western Bluebirds nesting in a beautiful Garry Oak meadow on Mt. Tzuhalem, near Duncan, BC. Since 1995, however, the local (Georgia Depression) population of Western Bluebirds has not been known to nest in BC.
I would like to help restore nesting populations of this important and beautiful bird so that my daughter Heather, a leader of the Victoria Young Naturalists’ Club, can inspire others with the thought that they can be a part of restoring nature, and that they too can watch Western Bluebirds at their nests.
Partners in this project, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, Victoria Natural History Society, Ecostudies Institute, and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy have been active in putting up nestboxes in suitable habitat. However, experts tell us that we need a re-introduction to jumpstart the population. Building on the success of a 5 year re-introduction program on neighbouring San Juan Island, we are ready to have Dr. Gary Slater bring pairs of Western Bluebirds from Fort Lewis, Washington, to the Cowichan Valley, except for critical shortage of funds.
Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has generously offered to match contributions up to $5000. With those donations in hand, we will be closer to bringing Western Bluebirds to a meadow near you! Please donate to VNHS now (choose ‘bluebird project’) and help us with this exciting endeavour.
One way to help raise funds for the Bring Back the Bluebirds project is to buy raffle tickets! The prize is a beautiful silver brooch crafted by Stuart Duncan valued at $300. It features a bluebird sitting on an oak branch, with a blue lapis lazuli stone. A small number of tickets will be printed, so odds of winning are good! Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. Come by the GOERT office or contact Betsy Rose (250-383-3447) for tickets. If you can take a stack of tickets to sell at meetings or to friends, please do! Raffle ends April 27th, 2012.
For more about the bluebird project, please see our Bring Back the Bluebirds webpage.