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Wildlife Monitoring

Help us monitor wildlife populations at the Preserve to support our conservation programs.

In partnership with the Merrimac Farm Master Naturalists, we offer many opportunities for volunteers to help us understand wildlife at the Preserve. Data on bird nesting behavior, number of eggs laid, insect populations, and more helps us to fine-tune our conservation programs.

Bluebird Nest Box Monitoring

We have ten bluebird boxes, which promote the success of cavity-nesting native birds like bluebirds, tree swallows, chickadees, and more. Watch this video to learn about the responsibilities of a bluebird nest monitor, then contact us to schedule an in-person training session. Bluebird nesting season in Northern Virginia runs from late March through mid-August. Volunteers will monitor the boxes on one weekend every month. Feel free to reach out at any time of the year if you are interested in helping!

Purple Martin Nest Monitoring

Just like bluebird boxes, our purple martin gourds need to be monitored regularly. Click here to learn more, then contact us to schedule an in-person training. Nesting season is late March through mid-August.

Wood Duck Nest Box Monitoring

These boxes need to be monitored once per month. Volunteers will need waders to access these boxes, which are located in wetlands, ponds, and other bodies of water. Contact us for more information.

Caterpillars Count!

This program is designed to gather information about arthropod abundance and habits. Arthropods, including caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and more, are an important food source for many wildlife species - including bluebirds and purple martins. We conduct surveys of 15 trees and shrubs around the Preserve. Click here to learn more, then contact us to schedule an in-person training. Monitoring runs from mid-April through September.

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