Conservation

- VWF is a proud land steward and a supporter of:

Local Buck For Wildlife properties, and

a wildlife viewing station (blind) on the shore of the small slough located on the hiway 16 Buck for Wildlife property, and

Rube Johnson Bluebird Trail (Range Road 154 at Township Road 534).

Support AFGA Sponsoring of various programs at the Narrow Lake Conservation camp site. There are numerous programs for both summer and winter in all sorts of endeavours for men, women and youth.

Aid in sponsoring participants from the Vegreville area that want to attend the Narrow Lake training courses.

Rube Johnston Bluebird Trail Results

2018

2018 report to VWF by Rob H.
3 nestboxes of a different design were tried this year.
The new design boxes were built by a Vegreville resident.
The new design is a larger box with a flat roof.
They also have a piece of foam mounted inside them for the birds to place their nest on.
2 boxes were placed on the fence line across from the Vegreville Buck for Wildlife property located on Rng Rd 152 by Hiway 16, and 1 box was located along the roadside near the VWF outdoor range.
The swallows arrived on April 26 and tried the nest boxes but had trouble entering the boxes with the entry hole placed on the bottom front of the boxes. Perches were added but these did not solve the entry problem either. The lower holes were then covered and a new hole placed higher up on the box fronts. Within a day the swallows were entering the boxes and nested in all three.
Fledging of young was completed by July 4 and the boxes were cleaned out on July 15. These boxes were later sealed for the winter.
Results of the new boxes were:
- a large amount of grass and feathers was used in all the boxes.
- 2 had nests built by the hole, not on the foam.
- the third box had 2 nests built in it, of which only one had been used for egg laying and nesting.
- the new boxes are larger and heavier than normal boxes thus can be mounted only on the thicker posts.
- the new boxes protrude from the posts quite a bit furthur than the normal boxes.

Conclusions:
VWF will stay with the original designed box - the "North American Bluebird box" design.

2016

2016 reort to VWF by Rob H.

Number of birds fledged: mountain bluebird 44, tree swallow 307
Pest bird species: house wrens in 8 boxes, House sparrow in 1 box

Mountain Bluebirds first arrived on March 27. 8 pairs laid 52 eggs with 3 pairs double-clutching with one second clutch failure. There were 8 non-viable eggs, resulting in 44 fledged juveniles. Bluebirds prefer pasture land.

Tree Swallows normally arrive in late April and claim the nest boxes not used by bluebirds, usually around the field crop land such as wheat or canola. This year there were 54 pairs laying 318 eggs with 307 fledged juveniles.

House Wrens arrive even later than tree swallows and usually do not interfere with bluebirds or swallows. They will occasionally insert sticks overtop of finished swallow nests. This year found 4 unhatched wren eggs in a full nest overtop of a successful swallow nest.

2015

2015 report to VWF by Rob H.

Number of nests and fledged young mountain bluebirds and tree swallows estimated from nest evidence evaluated between August 23-25, 2015 found a total of 64 nest boxes.

Mountain Bluebird: 4 nests, 25 fledged, one nest had two clutches, Average 6.5 per box.

Tree Swallow: 53 nests, 298 fledged. Average 5.6 per box.

House Sparrow: nested in 1 box.

House Wren: disturbed 6 nest boxes. In most cases the wrens moved in late, after the swallows were finished nesting, but did displace 1 swallow family.

Many other birds, geese, rodents and a herd of mule deer also dwell, thrive, and stroll through this property. There is a blind there (bird watching station/hut). Please keep it clean and treat it with respect.