Act to Become a Volunteer! Cavity Nester Volunteering

Purple Martin Nest Check Demonstration
Purple Martin Nest Check Demonstration (Pre-Pandemic!)

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the cavity nesting birds program at Iroquois? There are opportunities awaiting you! As part of our organization purpose, the Friends of Iroquois are dedicated to educating the public about the plants and animals found at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. We advocate for the refuge and its programs and needs. One way we do so if to find volunteers. I’d like to tell you about a great opportunity to learn about the cavity nesting native birds at Iroquois.

Volunteers maintain and survey a wide assortment of housing for many species of native cavity nesting birds here at Iroquois. As you can imagine, there’s plenty to do! Volunteers also contribute to cavity nesting projects by assisting with bird banding and collecting data for research studies. Plus, it’s just plain fun to get the opportunity to work with these beautiful birds!

FINWR supports the programs and activities that go on at Iroquois NWR.
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  • Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows: The refuge has 91 boxes for Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows located all around the refuge. These are checked weekly during the nesting season. The housing is updated and cleaned in the off season. Opening the boxes and seeing the developmental stages of the nestlings is a very rewarding learning experience. Our team camaraderie is pretty great, too!
  • Purple Martins: At the refuge, there are two locations for Purple Martin housing that volunteers maintain. First, a house with a gourd rack right at headquarters close to the parking lot and an additional gourd rack along the Headquarters trail. Second, three houses and two gourd racks at the Job Corp site on refuge property.

Please think about this opportunity and whether you might be a good fit for helping with activities that contribute to the survival of the avian life supported by our volunteers. Just contact the refuge at 585- 948-5445;7036 and speak to Eric Schaertl to complete the refuge volunteer agreement. Eric can put you in contact with the cavity nesting team. We need you!

For additional volunteer activities, please visit INWR’s site.