Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Peterson Bluebird Boxes for Sale

There are still some of these Peterson Bluebird Boxes for sale from a building bee some time ago.

The boxes are $20 each and include instructions and mounting screw nails. The bluebird boxes were constructed by a team of Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist volunteers led by MVFN’s Conservation and Habitat Restoration Committee. Thank you to all the MVFN volunteers who have constructed these boxes over the years. Especially the most recent batch built by David Garcia and a team of dedicated volunteers who gathered to assemble these houses and to those who had prepared the stacks of cut materials.

To order an MVFN Bluebird Box, please contact Cliff Bennett to check on availability:  613-256-5013  

Many bluebird boxes built by MVFN have been installed in rural properties over the years and we hope they are helping the bluebird population and other birds. There are many keys to long-term success with these boxes, especially location, location, location! Please refer to the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society website at www.oebs.ca for more detailed advice.

NOTE: the MVFN bluebird boxes are based on the Peterson oval design. Studies show that the Peterson oval design is more user-friendly to the Eastern bluebird and has a lower mortality rate than other designs. The truncated conical shape of the nesting cavity reduces the requirement for nesting material; hence less energy is expended by the nester. The thick wooden back and roof acts as a thermal barrier to shield the young from temperature extremes. The oblong entrance hole is the correct dimension for bluebirds and the angled front discourages predators. The front opens for cleaning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A huge thanks to the volunteers!

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MVFN Bluebird Houses Ready for Spring 2011 Occupancy

MVFN Bluebird Houses Ready for Spring 2011 Occupancy

Poster notice with photos of the Peterson bluebird houses and volunteers at work – pdf  

By Cliff Bennett

Shades of Santa’s workshop or maybe the Easter Bunny! Over a dozen members and friends gathered at a workshop on Ramsay Conc. 8 on Saturday, March 19 to assemble over two hundred Peterson oval bluebird boxes as part of MVFN’s Habitat Creation Program led once again by our Past President Mike McPhail. This is the third year we have manufactured these specialized habitats for our Eastern bluebird population.

photo by Mike McPhail

The workshop was busy most of the day, with each person taking on one part of the eight-step assembly line process. The assembly teams included Craig Athrens, Susan Athrens, Carol Walsworth, Rob Walsworth, John Willis, Joel Byrne, Pip Winters, Al Potvin, Sue McPhail, Mike McPhail, Mike Macpherson, Parthy Chandrasekaran, Peggy McPhail, Betty Parent, Howard Robinson, Mary Robinson, Sylvie Frenette, and Dave Hurd. All parts were pre-cut and drilled by MVFN members Al Potvin and Pip Winters over the winter months. Lumber for the boxes was donated by Jesse Lance and Gord Pike. Refreshments were supplied by Peggy McPhail.

Studies show the Peterson oval design is more user-friendly to the Eastern bluebird because of its sloped form, easy access to cleaning, and protective structure to shelter the bird during severe weather. The import from Europe of the starling and the English house sparrow in the latter part of the nineteenth century saw these cavity dwellers take over much of the available nesting holes that the bluebirds needed. Man’s intervention with man-made bluebird nesting homes has helped greatly to re-establish these beautiful songbirds into our area.

Now that the pallets full of boxes are completed, the houses are ready for sale and installation. Hopefully many will be sold to property owners who have space to establish a bluebird trail. Other rural applications are possible, including within and around a series of apple trees, the birds’ favourite habitat. Bluebird boxes should be mounted in pairs, about ten to twelve feet apart. Aggressive tree swallows often take over one box but won’t tolerate another family of swallows nearby. However, they have no issues with bluebirds.

MVFN now has the bluebird boxes for sale at $18 each. The box includes a packet of mounting screws and an instruction sheet. You can buy these at any of our MVFN functions such as the lecture series or by contacting Mike McPhail at 613-256-7211 or . Proceeds of sales will go to MVFN’s Habitat Creation Program and the MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award Program.

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2010 MVFN Bluebird House Building Blitz

MVFN Bluebird House Building Blitz

Looking for volunteers to help assemble Bluebird houses in the morning or afternoon.

Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Place: # 2470 Ramsay Concession 8, Almonte, K0A 1A0

Same location as the Rebound Reuse-It Centre & Branje Metal Works (i.e. just in from the intersection of Ramsay Concession 8 & the Clayton Rd).

We are looking for 6 volunteers for a morning shift 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon. Bring a lunch, light refreshments will also be available.

Looking for 6 volunteers for an afternoon shift 12:30 noon to 3:30 pm.

Light refreshments will also be available in the afternoon

All MVFN members and friends welcome. Regardless of their wood working skill set –a task will be found to match their particular talents. Please bring a cordless drill if you have one.

The objective will be to assemble 170 Bluebird houses. The birdhouses will used in MVFN habitat creation projects and also available for sale at $15.00 each.

We will be working predominantly indoors. Therefore, weather shouldn’t be a factor.

Please Register in advance and come out and “provide a helping hand to nature” in this year’s MVFN’s habitat creation Birdhouse Building Blitz.  To register as a volunteer, or to place an order for bluebird houses, contact Mike McPhail at 613 256-7211 or email .

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MVFN Birdhouse Building Blitz 2008

MVFN Birdhouse Building Blitz

Come out and “provide a helping hand to nature” in this 1st phase of MVFN’s habitat creation project!   Looking for donations of lumber & volunteers to help build some birdhouses. Please register in advance.

Date: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008     

Time: arrive by 10:00 A.M.  

Place: # 2470 Ramsay Concession 8, Almonte, K0A 1A0. This is the location of the Rebound Reuse-It Centre & Branje Metal Works (just in from the intersection of Ramsay Concession 8 with Clayton Rd).

Bring a lunch, light refreshments will also be available.  We will be working predominantly indoors. Therefore, weather shouldn’t be a factor.

All MVFN members and friends welcome.  Regardless of their wood working skill set –a task will be found to match their particular talents. Let us know if you can donate lumber or need help transporting material (or your self) to the building blitz site. Feel free to bring along any of your own birdhouse building tools although tools will also be available at the blitz.

The objective will be to build as many Bluebird, Wood duck and perhaps even some bat houses as materials, time, and resources permit. The birdhouses will used in future MVFN habitat creation projects such a local Blue bird trail.

 To register, make donations or for more information, contact Mike McPhail at 613-256-7211 or

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