Our names are Stan & Sue. we have 3 children, and have been married for 39 years.
We enjoy the outdoors, that’s one of the reasons why we joined the Friends of the Wallkill River Refuge.
My husband and I wanted to get more involved with Wallkill River Refuge so when our president Marie Springer asked if I would help with the bluebird boxes I said, I can do that. Of course every time I volunteer I get my husband to help also. March and April we spent hours checking boxes and repairing old ones and fixing up some that were donated.
We were so excited when we saw our first nest. From our first nesting we had 38 eggs. We were so happy when we saw our first-born. Watching them grow and seeing them made us realize what gifts of nature God has given us. We have had a lot of help from Linda Pescak who had monitored the boxes for the last several years. Linda has been so good and is always there for us to answer all of our questions. Linda has also come back with hands on help.
We have little knowledge about bluebirds or any other bird for that matter. We are learning and reading alot . We have had many fledgings of the bluebirds and tree swallows. We have also encountered disappointments when we found many of our nests infested with blowflies, which resulted in the deaths of several blue birds.
Monitoring the boxes has given us much joy. We spend time together and with nature. The other day when Stan was checking one of the boxes he called out to me empty nest. “Oh no we are becoming empty nesters.” Till next year that is. We still have several boxes with nests and are sure we will have more before the end of summer.
We spend about 6 hours a week at the refuge. Many hours at home on boxes, paper work etc. We have 38 boxes and we plan to add more next year. We hope to some day replace the boxes that need replacing and add new predator guards and poles. Bluebirds have truly brought us much happiness.
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The federally threatened bog turtle can be found in wetlands throughout the Wallkill River valley and the Papakating Creek Watershed. Endangered by habitat loss and poaching (the diminutive turtle is favored among illegal pet traders), this turtle is an important focus of the refuge’s conservation work. Due to their listed status, refuge public use areas are located away from sensitive bog turtle habitats.