The Iconic Western Bluebird – How to help it thrive

Learn about the iconic Western Bluebird and what you can do to help it thrive

Join the Redbud Audubon Society on Thursday, Feb. 15, for a Zoom program presented by Mike Azevedo and Georgette Howington of the California Bluebird Recovery Program (CBRP). The program starts at 7 p.m. and will focus on the iconic Western Bluebird and other cavity nesting birds common in many backyards. Viewers find out why these birds are important and beneficial to humans and what they can do to help Western Bluebirds thrive including the proper care and placement of nest boxes. Register for the program by going to the home page of Redbud Audubon’s website ( and clicking on the link, or click on the link below in this newsletter if you receive it by email.

The Western Bluebird is one of everyone’s favorite bird species, featured in Disney movies and modern culture.  Back in 1971, Western Bluebirds were living on land owned by a man named Don Yoder.  Don was building a house that required trees to be removed. Sadly, the trees contained bluebird nests.  That just didn’t seem fair to Don – he was getting a brand new home, but the bluebirds were left with nothing.

Don took action and created The California Bluebird Recovery Program to promote the use of nest boxes for bluebirds and other cavity nesting species. The CBRP has become a well-known and widespread organization offering sound advice and tracking important data on the status of Bluebirds and other cavity nesters.

Georgette Howington is a Life Member of California Garden Clubs, a certified Horticulturist and UC Davis Naturalist of the Mt. Diablo Region.  Her affiliations as a conservationist in the San Francisco Bay Area community for over 30 years include membership in Mt. Diablo Audubon Society and the California Bluebird Recovery Program ( among others.

Georgette is State Assistant Program Director of CBRP and has been a nest box monitor for 25 nesting seasons.  Her specialized niche is the study and conservation of cavity nesters and their associated habitats…

Mike Azevedo has been the County Coordinator for Santa Clara County with the California Bluebird Recovery Program since 2009.  He has been a Science Camp naturalist, park ranger and merit badge counselor for nature related merit badges for years.  Mike is compiler of the San Jose Audubon Christmas Bird Count and has worked with Santa Clara Audubon Society closely since becoming involved.  Mike is working with Sequoia Audubon Society on a project to save the Western Purple Martin, a species of special concern that is battling habitat loss, deadly competition with the introduced European starling and food source crash due to the rampant use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Together with Georgette Howington, Mike is an editor of the CBRP Facebook Page and is currently working on books and videos encouraging the use of native plants and nest boxes and habitat improvement in general.