Bluebirds Feed

Rare Pix of Bluebird Man in Action

Img152 (1)Stiles Thomas, who was the driving force behind creating the Celery Farm Natural Area and who founded the Mount Peter and Hook Mountain hawk watches, also was the Eastern Bluebird equivalent of Johnny Appleseed in North Jersey back in the 1950s.

He even supplied farmers with free bluebird boxes. The boxes were stamped:

Bluebird House

Stiles Thomas

Allendale, N.J.

... so, perhaps, that bluebirds knew they were moving into the correct birdhouse, and whom to thank.

Also pictured below is Mr. Thomas with a few of his incredible bird carvings. If anyone knows when and where the photo was taken, let me know.

Stiles was kind enough to share these old photos with me (and now you).

Bluebirds Rule at the NJ Botanical Garden

A while back, my wife and I found an uprooted bluebird box at the NJ Botanical Garden. After we failed to put it back into the ground, I let Bergen County Audubon president Don Torino know about it.

Yesterday he gave me an update:

Our volunteer Rich Greendyk, who does our bluebird boxes at the NJBG, said to give you a message.
"Hi, Don. Visited NJBG Monday afternoon. You can tell your friend who reported the downed box that it now has a brood of very tiny nestlings, probably about two days old.
"The other three boxes in the back field have one with tiny bluebird nestlings, and two with swallows (1 with eggs the other with tiny nestlings).
"Bluebirds are active in other areas of the park as well.
"I checked the box at parking lot C and it has eggs (second brood). So, that's the way it is, just to inform."
Thanks, Rich, Don and Bergen County Audubon Society!

A Terrific NJ Bluebird Story

Michele Byers of the New Jersey Conservation  Foundation -- the non-profit group that was instrumental in saving the Celery Farm -- has an article on about a success story -- Eastern Stiles bluebird story 1 (2)Bluebirds are increasing in the Garden State.

You can read the article here.

I took the above photo yesterday at the NJ Botanical Garden in Ringwood.

(Of course, Allendale's own Stiles Thomas -- even more instrumental in saving the Celery Farm -- placed bluebird boxes all over North Jersey more than half-century ago.

You can read about that here


The Bluebird Man of Bergen County

Last week I had the honor of helping Stiles Thomas, the marsh warden emeritus of the Celery Farm, as he installed an Eastern Bluebird nesting box in a yard of a friend in Gardiner, N.Y. (near New Paltz).

As always, Stiles had everything planned, down to the last wing-nut and washer for the baffle.

I helped create the two-foot-deep hole to anchor the nest box in the ground, and Stiles did the rest.

Eastern Bluebirds have been seen in the yard as recently as this winter, and Stiles predicts the box will have its first tenants within the month.

Most folks don't realize it, but Stiles was featured in articles about Eastern Bluebirds in Reader's Digest, Audubon Magazine and other publications several decades ago for his work in helping these beautiful birds make a comeback in Bergen County.

I have scanned the Reader's Digest and Audubon Magazine articles and you can read them below.

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