Hess Trail


Jim Hess monitoring one of the nest boxes on the Hess Trail.

Jim Hess monitoring one of the nest boxes on the Hess Trail.

The Hess Trail is located in rural Blanchardville.  Jim and Marci monitor the 26 nest boxes on the trail once a week during the nesting season and email the results to LCBS to be included on the weekly report. 

The bluebird production on their trail has steadily increased over the past few years.  In 2010, they reported a total of 42 BB fledged, in 2011 they had 86 BB and in 2012 they fledged 114 and the numbers have been growing ever since!  The TS in 2010 numbered 31 fledged and in 2011 and 2012 they reported 18.    The wrens increased from 9 in 2010 to 17 in 2011, and dropped to 8 in 2012. 

Jim and Marci are actively involved with restoring the acreage on their property to prairie.  The prairie environment is very good habitat for bluebirds, since it abounds with a variety of insects that fit into the bluebird’s diet.  


Bluebird hatchlings about 1 day old.

Jim shows that there are five nestlings in this box.

Keeping a record book is very important. Jim carries his along on the trail.

A couple of years ago, Jim installed a kestrel box on the prairie along the trail.  This year, as of April 26, 2013,  the kestrels have taken up residency and are actively feeding young in the box.  Jim is wondering how this migth effect the bluebirds on the trail.

Kestrels Jim Hess

Pair of American Kestrels
occupying a nest box.