The bluebirds’ return is the result of enthusiastic volunteers establishing and maintaining bluebird nesting boxes and safe environments. Celadon residents are working now to have their community recognized as a Certified Bluebird Habitat by the South Carolina Bluebird Society.
A member of the thrush (Sialia) family, the Eastern Bluebird male sports a bright blue plumage above with a breast and throat of deep orange. A splash of white on the underside and a 9-12 inch wingspan makes them easy to spot as they dart among the trees and in and out of strategically placed, custom-made nesting boxes.
As with many bird species, the female’s plumage is similar but not as vibrant. The female bluebird has a beige colored throat and breast, a gray-blue head and back and light blue wings and tail.
Wild bluebird populations, once as familiar as the American Robin, have suffered from the destruction of their natural habitat, and from two introduced species, European starlings, and House sparrows. The territorial sparrows continue to vie for space in the bluebirds’ habitats and must be watched so they don’t take over the nest boxes.
Bluebirds are gardeners’ friends:
Gardeners love the feathered beauties because, in organic gardens that don’t use herbicides, they are an effective and natural source of insect control. Although the omnivorous bluebirds don’t eat commercial birdseed, mealworm grubs placed in feeders or on trays, supplement their diet of ground-sourced insects. They also enjoy a diet of wild seeds, berries, and fruit.
The bluebirds frequent backyards, fields, orchards, and pastures and can be found around the fringes of forested areas. Water is vital to many birds, and the bluebird is no exception. In South Carolina, bluebirds don’t migrate, and while they can find water sources readily in the warmer months, they benefit from a heated birdbath when temperatures are cooler.
In 2017 Celadon homeowner Charlene Kinest’s first nest box attracted a pair of bluebirds within days. She was excited to observe the couple raise several batches of fledglings that spring and quickly asked her neighbors to participate in attracting more bluebirds to Celadon.
Celadon Club manager Stephanie Fairbanks reached out to Celadon’s developer JC Taylor and asked him to support a community project to help the bluebirds – he readily agreed. Stephanie then contacted the South Carolina Bluebird Society president Mike DeBruhl who traveled to Celadon to teach homeowners about bluebirds, nest box building, and how best to attract them and nurture their habitat.
Mike DeBruhl was impressed that the Celadon developers had planned so much open green space and parkland, supporting the perfect habitat for wildlife.
Stephanie Fairbanks knew that the enthusiasm of homeowners would result in a successful project. And she was right.
The Celadon community volunteers!
Celadon homeowners volunteer to build and place the bluebird nesting boxes and monitor the birds’ activity. They will continue to gather data from weekly inspections including numbers of birds, eggs, and fledglings. The data will be sent to Mike DeBruhl who will then send formatted statistics to the North American Bluebird Society.
Once thirty nest boxes are installed and monitored for a year throughout nesting season) the certification process will be complete.
There are presently fifteen nesting boxes installed throughout the community – along trails, near ponds, in backyards, and around the community garden.
Students at the Bridges Preparatory Academy can see some of the bluebird nesting boxes from their classroom windows providing them with a fascinating view of bluebird behavior. This experience builds skills of observation, reasoning, and concentration and at the same time teaches respect for natural habitats and wildlife.
If you are a Celadon resident and interested in participating in this exciting and worthwhile project, contact Stephanie Fairbanks at the Celadon Club.
Celadon is an upscale, wellness-focused, master-planned community on Lady’s Island – five minutes from downtown Beaufort. Celadon offers a charming selection of finely appointed, single-family homes and its walkable neighborhoods demonstrate the best in classic Lowcountry architecture. Significant “green” development, including parks, ponds, trails, and other outdoor amenities encourage outdoor activity and neighborly interaction. The Celadon Club and its Wellness Center (complete with spa services) provide unmatched opportunities for fitness, health, and wellness. Celadon homes are available from the mid-$300’s, and homesites from the $70’s.
For more information and continued updates on Celadon Club or the Celadon community, visit CeladonLiving.com.