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The Sierra College Natural History Museum Presents: How to Spy on Your Feathered Friends: Monitoring Bluebird Nest Boxes

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The Sierra College Natural History Museum will host a presentation entitled “How to Spy on Your Feathered Friends: Monitoring Bluebird Nest Boxes” by avid birders Kelly Weintraub, Kate Brennan, and Heath Wakelee on Friday, February 20, at 7:30 PM in Sewell Hall (room 111) on the Sierra College-Rocklin Campus.

How does “citizen science” play a role in data collection and research? What is being done locally by citizens to further the conservation of Western Bluebirds and other avian species? How can you participate? Kelly Weintraub of Point Blue Conservation (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory) will discuss the role of conservation in restoring and maintaining healthy bird populations as open spaces are transformed into urban sprawl, altering many species’ natural habitats. Kate Brennan and Heath Wakelee, members of Sierra Foothills Audubon Society (SFAS) will talk about Western Bluebirds: attracting the birds, providing nesting boxes, monitoring the boxes, and where to go to see bluebirds, and show slides of bluebirds and their nest box competitors and predators. When you are a nest box monitor, there’s nothing more wonderful than opening a nest box and seeing a nesting bluebird with her beautiful blue eggs, unless it’s watching the fledglings appear at your bird feeder for the first time. Find out what happens with the data collected from nest box monitoring and learn how important these small acts of “citizen science” are to the larger scientific community studying bird populations. SFAS will have Western Bluebird nest boxes available – if you join Audubon at the lecture, you can get one for free; boxes will also be available for a small donation. 

Kelly Weintraub is a Partner Biologist with Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO). She is based out of the Natural Resources Conservation Service field office in Grass Valley, where she works with private landowners to develop wildlife-friendly conservation plans for ranches, farms, and forestland. Kelly grew up in Plumas County in the northern Sierra. She earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies-Biology from Southern Oregon University and a M.S. in Natural Resource Management-Wildlife from Humboldt State University, where she studied Tricolored Blackbird nest survival.

Kate Brennan has been a Board Member with Sierra Foothills Audubon Society for 3 years and a member of Audubon for over 20 years. She still considers herself a “novice” bird watcher after all those years. So many birds and so little time.

Heath Wakelee has been an avid birder for over 25 years and frequently speaks to groups and schools about the joy of bird watching.  A member of the Sierra Foothills Audubon Board of Directors, Heath can frequently be found leading bird walks in Rocklin and Roseville.  Heath retired from a sales career, lives in Rocklin with his wife Gail and also spends time volunteering for the Red Cross.  His favorite bird is the Western Bluebird and favorite place to bird is Gray Lodge in Butte County. 

This presentation is part of the Sierra College Natural History Museum’s 2014-2015 lecture series, and will be held on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 pm in Sewell Hall, room 111. Tickets are available at the door. Prices are General $5 / Students and Seniors $2 / Museum members free. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Natural History Museum.

The Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5000 Rocklin Road in Rocklin. There is no charge for parking after 4pm on Friday. For more information, call the Sierra College Natural History Museum at 916-660-7926.

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