Attracting Declining Cavity Nesting Birds to Our Campus

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EcoTopic / Project Category
Education & Awareness, Habitat & Wildlife
Project Goal Summary
A collaboration between upper school and middle school students and two faculty members, this project aims to build and install 10 nesting boxes on campus targeting cavity-nesting bird species that are in decline in our region according to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. We have identified 7 species that we believe we have suitable habitat for on our campus. Each of these species can use a boost to their population numbers. The species we are targeting are Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Eastern Screech Owl, American Kestrel, Brown-Headed Nuthatch and Prothonotary Warbler. Four middle school science student classes will build the boxes from plans provided by the Cornell Lab Nestwatch All About Birdhouses resource page and also from the Tri-State Bluebird Society. Each class will be assigned two species to learn about and build the boxes for. Each box will be modified slightly to make room for an outdoor Blink camera that will be connected via wifi to allow real-time monitoring from any computer on our campus. The boxes will be installed in suitable habitat by upper school students and a supervisory faculty member during a special intersession sustainability program. Once installed, any science student or faculty member on campus will be able to access the live Blink camera feeds. The middle school students who built the boxes will monitor them throughout the academic year and keep careful nesting records. The data they collect will be recorded on the Cornell Lab NestWatch citizen science program website. Over the summer, two designated faculty members will monitor the boxes and clean them out after the nesting season. 
Project Location
McCallie School
Chattanooga, TN 37404
United States
Project Goals and News
This project has two key goals: to educate our students about the problem of declining species and to empower them in a hands-on way to do something about it.  During the project, students will also take a deep dive into learning about specific bird species, their life histories, their specific habitat and nesting requirements and the challenges they face. We are also hoping there will be the tangible benefit of boosting the local population of these bird species. 
Tag Your Project
Cavity-nesting birds, nest boxes, conservation biology

Project Feedback

This sounds like a really great project! Thanks so much for sharing. I encourage you to also explore NWF Eco-Schools USA and specifically our Schoolyard Habitats program if you haven't already as there are great resources for K-12 schools: ,
  • Posted Thu 01 Dec 2022 04:39 PM CST

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Date Added: Dec 1, 2022
Date Last Modified: Dec 1, 2022

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