Nest Box Monitoring

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The Watershed Institute

  • 6 people are interested
The Watershed Center


The Watershed Institute needs volunteers to monitor our nest boxes. This volunteer position requires checking bird boxes and collecting data about each one. Data is submitted to Cornell’s NestWatch database as part of a national effort to track reproductive success for all North American breeding birds.

V olunteers will work in teams to divide weekly monitoring tasks and visit nests 2-3 times a week, collecting data from the 40+ nest boxes on the Watershed Reserve. Each monitor will need to come to the Watershed Reserve roughly once every two weeks. Monitors will meet several species of cavity-nesters including Eastern Bluebirds, House Wrens, Chickadees and Tree Swallows. By looking at the nests and eggs inside the boxes, volunteers determine who is living there and for how long.

The nest box monitor will contribute to avian conservation while having the unique opportunity to observe nest building, egg laying, hatching, and fledging processes.


  • Be available to conduct site visits from late April-early August to check nest boxes individually or with a team member
  • Coordinate schedules and communicate with other team members to accomplish monitoring goals
  • Monitor boxes for nesting activity and identify the species of bird in the box (training provided)
  • Maintenance /repair boxes as needed
  • Log volunteer hours weekly


  • Confidence in identifying nesting birds by sight, nest, or eggs (training provided)
  • The ability visits to their monitoring site between late April and August (time and transportation)
  • The ability to follow nest survey protocol (training provided)
  • Familiarity and interest in birds and bird behavior
  • Neat, legible handwriting
  • Ability to walk on mowed trails and through tall, grassy habitats
  • Able to withstand hot/humid conditions, ticks/insects, and thorny plants

Time Commitment

  • Attend one training session in mid-April

(Tuesday April 16 @6:00 pm or Saturday April 20 @10:00 am)

  • Make weekly/bi-weekly visits to nest boxes as determined by the group members. Each group of 3 or 4 monitors will develop their own schedule from late April - August.

3 More opportunities with The Watershed Institute

Animals Environment


Tue Apr 16, 2019 - Sat Aug 10, 2019


31 Titus Mill RdPennington, NJ 08534



  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Education
  • Animal Care / Handling


  • Teens
  • People 55+


  • Must be at least 16
  • Orientation or Training
  • Attending one of the two training sessions is preferred but other arrangements can be made. Minimum age is 16 alone or younger with a responsible adult.
  • see above opportunity description

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