Bluebirds ready to fledge
More than 50 bluebirds are expected to take their first flight from their nests at Flint Hills Resources this year, outpacing 2013’s fledglings and the company’s average. From April-August each year, a group of employee volunteers at Flint Hills carefully monitors the 18 artificial nesting structures located on a prairie ecosystem on the refinery property. Each year, Flint Hills reports its bluebird data to the Minnesota Bluebird Recovery Program.
Bluebirds typically fledge (the first flight away from the nest box) anywhere from four to five weeks after the eggs are laid. The Flint Hills volunteers monitor the nest boxes during that time and keep track of the number of eggs laid and hatched. They also monitor the nest boxes for any dangers that may arise to the bluebirds, such as swarms of gnats.