- Start Date : 1 Apr 2012
- End Date: Ongoing
In 2012, Ryan Young started a volunteer-driven bird nestbox project in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue with help from a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the city of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. Initially targeting Wood Ducks, volunteers built 20 large nest boxes with wood and materials donated by Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and placed them in the prime habitats in the municipality that were found in the Morgan Arboretum, the McGill Bird Observatory area, and the Parc-nature de l’Anse-à-l’Orme (wetlands in wooded areas).
With the resulting success of that project, bluebird houses were then placed along the city’s municipal bike path and in open agricultural areas. Ryan has documented each season and recorded all the different species that have used the boxes that include Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, House Wrens, and Black-capped Chickadees. To date, the project counts more than 30 of these nextboxes, and over 80 % are used by Tree Swallows with a high degree of breeding success. Tree Swallows are aerial insectivores and this species along with many other swallow species have been suffering population declines over the last decade.
The project also included erecting three Purple Martin nestbox structures along the shore of Lac St. Louis and the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue canal that have met with some success. The project would not have been possible without the help of dedicated volunteers like George Panciuk and Geoffrey Webster.