Early-season Western Bluebirds on San Juan Island | Meg Drye

Stewardship Manager Kathleen Foley Lewis just received this note from two bluebird volunteers. It’s a harbinger of spring that’s too sweet not to share!

Dear Kathleen,

I want to take a moment to thank you for your multi-year efforts to reintroduce western bluebirds to the San Juan Islands. Although our family of bluebirds has been spotted repeatedly over the winter, they never lingered, that I could tell, until recently.

Last Friday afternoon, I took advantage of the bit of sunshine to do battle with blackberry at various places around the lot. As I worked in a field on the western side of my yard, near where you had set up an aviary in 2018, I realized I was hearing multiple bluebird chirps, from multiple directions.

All around me, bluebirds were standing possessively on nest boxes and fence posts, going after insects in the grassy pathways, and generally acting like they owned the place. They stuck around for quite a while.

Yesterday afternoon, while we were working in the orchard, five bluebirds returned to join us, picking bugs from the grass. Sometimes, they’d perch unafraid in the same tree we were pruning or on the fence nearby. Their presence added an almost magical element to our time outdoors.

So thank you, Kathleen, for this. We feel extraordinarily lucky. (As I write this, three bluebirds just zipped past my living room window!)

With great regard,

Brian and Rachel

If you would also like to be a part of our island species-recovery story, take a look at our upcoming volunteer events and #getoutside with SJPT.