2022 Bluebird Gathering at Red Mill Farm

The San Juan Preservation Trust is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Golden Nest Box Awards. This is an annual award given to the most dedicated of volunteers that help SJPT with its San Juan Islands Western Bluebird Reintroduction Project.

In the project’s 15th year(!), a lot happened. You can click here to read about the 2022 bluebird season. So much transpired that Kathleen Lewis, the Preservation Trust’s Conservation Project Manager and the leader of our efforts to help out the bluebirds, felt it was appropriate to name two recipients of the Golden Nest Box Award at our annual bluebird appreciation gathering at Red Mill Farm in September.

We are honored to name Kathy Finholm and Dan Clingaman as the winners of the one of the most bird-friendly awards around. Kathy and Dan are wonderful examples of community stewards and volunteers, as they have helped us and the bluebirds out in a variety of ways this past year.

In Kathleen’s words, here is a bit about each of them:

Bluebird project lead Kathleen Lewis with Golden Nest Box Winner Kathy Finholm

Dan Clingaman (seated in center with hat on) receives his Golden Nestbox Award 

“The first award goes to Kathy Finholm. Kathy has been a steadfast volunteer for several years now, overseeing several territories in San Juan Valley. Kathy is a vigilant nest box monitor who has reported the fate of numerous nests over the years, has assisted with banding, and has made good relations with the landowners who host the nest boxes she is monitoring. She takes extraordinary photographs and has helped document members of the population to aid in identification. Kathy is the poster child for community conservation projects. We are so glad she chose this project to devote her considerable skills and energies to. Thank you, Kathy!”

“Our second award recipient, Dan Clingaman, is fairly new to the project, having just adopted a territory last year. When he first started, he had never even seen a western bluebird. Over these past two years, his skill has grown considerably. It was due to Dan’s diligence and determination that the discovery of the birds nesting in a natural oak cavity was made. Dan’s help underscores how important having volunteers who are dedicated to this work is—it will take all small army to continue to make the important discoveries that will inform our reintroduction work, and ultimately result in the return of these birds permanently. Thank you, Dan!”

Want to volunteer, or know someone who does? 

We always need volunteers, especially in the early spring when the birds start arriving (usually by late February or early March). We need folks who can help check and clean our nest boxes, and also monitor for bluebirds.

Please contact SJPT Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Jack Russillo (jack@sjpt.org) if you are interested!