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The Adopt-A-Nestbox Program

Every year beginning on December 1st, the Friends of Hagerman give the public an opportunity to support the Eastern Bluebird population and learn all about them via the Adopt-A-Nestbox Program.

Participants of the Adopt-A-Nestbox program will have their name on one of the nestboxes along a Hagerman NWR hiking trail, and will receive an email every week during nesting season with a picture of the inside of the nestbox and an explanation of its stages of development.  An adopted nestbox makes a great Christmas gift!

Donations to the Adopt-A-Nest Program help support the expense of maintaining the impressive Bluebird trail of nearly 50 nestboxes throughout the refuge.  

The Adopt-A-Nestbox program is sold out.  Look for sales to begin on December 1st, 2022 for the 2023 season!


The Eastern Bluebirds at Hagerman NWR were hit hard by the winter storm of 2021, many were lost.  We are working hard to provide nestboxes and restore their habitat, and you could help by considering a Donation Donations will help replace nestboxes and expand our nestbox trails.

The Bluebird Nestbox Project

By Wes Crawford

The Nestbox Program has been a well-established volunteer activity of the Friends of Hagerman since 2013.  Every year volunteers are  monitoring nearly 50 nestboxes on Harris Creek and  Raasch Hiking Trails. 

Volunteers usually do box repair, relocations and cleaning during the off season from September through February.  Then, towards the end of February, nestbox monitors pair up and select the trails they prefer to monitor for the season.  The monitoring season begins in late February and ends in August. Based on scheduling, each team monitors about one time each month. Monitoring normally occurs on Wednesday or Thursday in the late morning or early afternoon.  Volunteers sometimes have to be flexible about their monitoring day due to weather or trail conditions. 

Monitors carefully open each box and note observations on the Cornell NestWatch data sheet. Some nestboxes have sponsors and a photo is taken.  Monitors will remove nests and clean the box once the chicks have fledged.  A designated volunteer enters the data for all of the nestboxes into the Cornell database for scientific monitoring and research.  Another volunteer takes the photos and prepares reports for the Adopt-A-Nestbox program sponsors.

There is nothing like the joy in seeing the royal blue male Eastern Bluebird on top of the nestbox or the female bravely huddled over her eggs or the site of the fully feathered young waiting for the queue to fledge.   One of our volunteer monitors this year was blessed by actually seeing a chick peck out of the egg.  Although our target species is Eastern Bluebirds, other species benefit from use of the nestboxes including: Carolina Wren, Bewicks Wren, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and Prothonotary Warbler.

Thanks to all Friends, volunteers and HNWR staff for supporting this program.


Recent Program Results

Note: Differences in the species utilizing the nestboxes through the years may be due to our effort to move boxes into more suitable Bluebird habitats.


2021

41 Eastern Bluebird

12 Carolina Chickadee

18 Carolina Wren 

2020

130 Eastern Bluebirds

19 Carolina Chickadee/Carolina Wrens

2019

147 Eastern Bluebirds

9 Carolina Chickadee

22 Carolina Wrens

2018

140 Eastern Bluebirds

26 Carolina Chickadee

22 Carolina Wrens

2017

122 Eastern Bluebirds

   3  Carolina Chickadees

44  Carolina Wrens

   6  Bewick’s Wrens

   9  Tufted Titmice

   5  Prothonotary Warblers 

2011 to 2016:

939 Eastern Bluebird

147 Carolina Wren

 97 Carolina Chickadee

 73 Tufted Titmouse

 23 Prothonotary Warbler

 14 Bewick's Wren


Eastern Bluebird Information, How to Build a Nestbox, etc.


Photo by Larry Wecsler

 Photo by Laurie Blankenship-Lawler


 Photo by Bill Powell

Male Bluebird by Randall Patterson



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Friends of Hagerman NWR

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, drive on any road unless gated.

Admission to the refuge, parking and most events/activities are funded by donations and powered by volunteers. 

6465 Refuge Road

Sherman, TX 75092

Contact Us

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Please add friendsofhagerman@gmail.com to your contacts to ensure delivery of registration confirmations, account information and the Featherless Flyer

Special thanks to Nancy Miller for the amazing photo of the Visitor Center 

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