Interesting News Related To MBS

The Secret Lives of Bluebirds: Thinking Inside the Box Video

It has been nearly five years since filming and editing of our video began.  Now  the Michigan Bluebird Society is thrilled to announce that The Secret Lives of Bluebirds: Thinking Inside the Box video will be ready for distribution soon!  MBS partnered with renowned wildlife photographer Charles St. Charles to create this spectacular video highlighting the life cycle of the Eastern Bluebird.  It will introduce you to these birds as they live their lives on our properties – finding mates, building nests, laying and hatching eggs, and raising their young.

At this time, the forty minute video will only be available in DVD format.  Other distribution options like streaming and USB will be available soon.  The DVD comes in a plastic jewel case with an attractive cover and an amazing pciture of a bluebird in flight on the dvd itself. 

At this price you will want to buy more than one!  Think of the great gift you can give a family member or friend to introduce him or her to the joys of blue birding.

To order you copy visit the MBS Store..

Podcast Regarding MBS Member/County Coordinator Greg Miller

The MBS Country Coordinator for Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Manistee County was recently featured in a podcast on IPR Public Radio.  Below is a link to the very interesting and informative podcast. Be sure to click on the Listen button toward the top left of the page to start the podcast.         Audio Guide to Spring Bluebird Landlord

MBS 2023 Spring Festival A Big Success

Due to COVID MBS had not been able to hold the annual Spring Festival for three years.  On March 25, 2023, we held our 2023 festival in Grand Rapids. It was a huge success!  Thanks to all who attended.  We hope you had a good time.  You certianly apeeared to.  Below are some pictures which member Don Smith tiook at the festival.  Thank you Don!  The last picture was taken by member Kelly Heyner.  Thank you Kelly!  This is Duane Lanyon and a Calvin University student who wanted an MBS hat but did not have enough cash to purchase one.  Duane could not pass up the chance for us to recruit a future Bluebird Landlord so he bought the hat for her.  Thanks again Duane.

ExhibitVisitors  ExpertPanel1  ExpertPanel2  IntroCharlesStCharles  CharlesPresents  MBS SalesVisitingSales  SalesCheckout  WBU Kentwood  WildOnes  KidCorner  KidsJournal1  KidsJournal2   DuaneGift


First MBS Bird Conservation Webinar A Success!

On February 20, 2021, MBS presented its first ever live webinar.  We thank all of those who decided to join us and hope you will join us for future weibnars.  Our next webinar will be in March and will feature Stan Tekiela - author of Captivating Bluebirds.  This is one you won't want to miss.  Details will be on our Webinars page soon.

If you would like to watch the February 20th webinar Attracting Bluebirds in Michigan   by Kurt Hagemeister see below.

This comprehensive program covers all of the major elements needed to attract and keep bluebirds in your yard—nest boxes, feeders, water, and plantings.   Click here to watch this interesting and informative webinar.    

   Password to access this webinar is   Bluebird1     Note:  Password is case sensitive.


MBS Bird Conservation Webinars

The Michigan Bluebird Society is pleased to announce a series of free online webinars on bluebird and other bird conservation topics. The webinars were developed to help replace the in-person programs the Society has been unable to present since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  These webinars are just online programs which allow attendees to watch and listen to a presenter’s program as if they were in the room with the presenter.  Presenters will include our resident bluebird experts as well as guests from outside the organization.  We hope to present one program per month during much of the nesting season.  All are free to attend and are open to all members and the general public.  The programs will be presented using the Webex application which is free to download and use. You may already be familiar with it.  See our Webinars page for details on the programs we have scheduled so far.


MBS 2021 Spring Festival Canceled

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the MBS 2021 Spring Festival due to the continuing pandemic. There are no plans to reschedule for an in person festival later this year.  We are looking into scheduling some type of online program which would give our members something MBS to look forward to.  Watch our website and your email for announcements regarding this.


MBS 2020 Spring Festival Canceled

As with so many other things the MBS 2020 Spring Festival was canceled due to the pandemic. There are no plans to reschedule for later this year, because it takes MBS so long to prepare for the Festival.  We have to make many arrangements months in advance and it just is not feasible to reschedule for later in the year.


MBS 2018 Spring Festival - Saturday, March 24, 2018 - Ann Arbor, MI!

What a Festival!   We held our Spring Festival at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor this year and it was by far our best festival ever.  The festival was a huge success and everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves.   The weather cooperated giving us a sunny, but very windy and cold day.  A good day to be inside and listen to the interesting speakers and browse our displays. 

The number of people at the Festival was far higher than our expectations.  We estimate the total number of people who came through at 250-300.  It was hard to get an exact count, because people seemed to come and go the entire day.  Many did not register, when they came in the front door, but just went right on in and enjoyed themselves.  And people definitely came ready to spend money.  Revenue was the highest ever at a Spring Festival.  We had brought over 30 nest boxes and poles sets to sell and they were all gone before the end of the day.  Sparrow shields and sparrow traps were also big sellers and we could have sold many more sparrow shields, but we ran out.  Gift items also sold well. 

The Friday night welcome dinner was held at Guy Hollerin's in Ann Arbor.  Fifteen MBS volunteers came out to rest after getting everything set up at Washtenaw Community College.  And we fueled up and enjoyed some good conversation.

The programs were all excellent and very highly praised by the attendees.  The Q&A session may have been our best attended event - even though all of them filled up the rooms pretty well.  The Q&A panel discussion had a packed room with people standing in the back.  And the lively discussions on several issues were popular with the audience!  The Bluebird film program with Charles St. Charles was fantastic and many people left amazed at what his work was finding out so far in the project.  Both the Purple Martin and live raptor programs were also highly attended and drew many positive comments. The nest box building workshop was very well attended and very much enjoyed.  Michigan Avian Experience brought some magnificient raptors.  Their Bald Eagle was so beautiful and very well trained.  They let her free fly at Eastern Michigan University football games.  You can find out more about their program here:  Michigan Avian Experience                            Enjoy some pictures of the event below!

FriNiteDinner Greeters Display1Display2 ExpoCrowd1ExpoCrowd2ExpoDisplay3 ExpoCrowd3 ExpertPanelCharlesSC VideoSpeaker1  NBWorkshop Kestrel Kestrel2 Eagle1 Eagle2 Eagle3 Owl


MBS 2016 Spring Festival - Saturday, March 19, 2016!

What a great weekend at the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute!   Once again, our Bluebird Festival was a big success and everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy themselves.   For those of you who weren't able to attend, the PCCI is an absolutely beautiful nature and environmental education facility.  The investment in the building and programs is very impressive and the staff couldn't have been more helpful or nicer to us.  And once again, we were lucky with the weather - dry, partly sunny, little wind, and temperatures in the mid 40's. 

The number of people at the Festival was higher than our expectations.  We had approximately 63 registered, but our estimate is that 75-80 was the actual number of people who came through.  It was hard to get an exact count, because people seemed to come and go during the afternoon.  Revenue and donations slightly exceeded last year's Muskegon meeting.   This is good because it helps greatly to defer the costs of the meeting which are pretty high.  We are very thankful for MBS member Larry Hayward who generously paid for the entire meeting room fee.  During the business meeting, as a thank you, we presented him with a beautiful framed bluebird photo kindly provided by Jonathan Morgan. 

The programs were all excellent and seemed to get positive comments from many people.  Thank you to Duane Lanyon for finding and recommending Tim Nowicki - an author, naturalist, and former TV program host for the program on Bluebird/Bird Migration.   The Panel discussion, featuring John Harville, Gene Wasserman and Kurt Hagemeister was a big hit once again.  Although some of the questions were tough, the Panel was able to handle them all!  
The Friday night welcome dinner at a restaurant in downtown Hastings was enjoyed by 22 people.  Nina Bower was presented with a lifetime membership in honor of her's and her late husband Allen's diligent efforts on behalf of bluebirds and the Society.
Below are several pictures from the festival.  Thank you to our co-founding member and Lenawee County Coordinator Don Smith for taking these photos!

PierceCedarCreekBirdsEye2   PCCIBackBBHabaitat PCCI

Above is a bird's eye view of PCCI, a view of the back deck and Bluebird habitat and a view of the interior.  Beautiful facility!

Liz AnnRegistration MarianneSAGaultneyGail DonDisplay
 Above are Liz Hagemeister & Ann Gaultney at the registration table.  Marianne Smith, Gail Chapman & Ann Gaultney wrapping up prize gifts and Lenawee County Coordinator Don Smith at his Expo product display.

KurtMeet Phil Kristen DuaneLKristiePreston

MBS President Kurt Hagemeister opened the festival by conducting the Annual Meeting. MBS Vice President Phil Peterson and wife Kristin in front of their Bluebird Expo table. Oakland County Coordinator Duane Lanyon and Calhoun County Coordinator Kristie Preston speak with an attendee.

BarredOwl ScreechOwl SawWhetOwl Kestrel

The Barred Owl, Screech Owl, Saw Whet Owl and Kestrel were all a part of Joe Roger's presentation, which everyone enjoyed.

GiftLHayward JessicaPhillips PrixeWinner

A thank you gift was presented to member Larry Hayward for his generosity in making the meeting at PCCI possible. Prize drawing winners Jessica Phillips and Luann.

Doris JimCubberly FriDinner Lunch

Prize drawing winners MBS members Doris & Jim Cubberly.  As there always is at our festivals, there was good food!  Both at the Friday night dinner at a local restaurant and lunch at PCCI!

MBS 2015 Fall Festival was  our best attended Fall Festival ever!

The MBS 2015 Fall Festival on September 13, 2015, at Dahlem Center in Jackson was a huge success.  Our best attendence ever at our Fall event!  Thanks to all who attended.  We enjoyed having you with us.  We hope you had a good time and will join us again next year.  And don't forget about our Spring Festival in March.  Watch the website for the announcement of the date and time for that.

InfoBoard  Gene

Attendee1  Don


MBS 2015 Spring Festival a Huge Success!

The MBS 2015 Spring Festival was held on March 28, 2015 at Muskegon Community College. The event continued the growing trend of fascinating programs, Bluebird comradery, fun kid's activities and lots of learning!  Over 85 people braved the 13 degree temperature to attend the festival.  Below are some photos from the event.

 DSC 0010        DSC 0014

 Friday night's welcome dinner was our best attended ever          Welcome dinner attendees were treated to a beautiful 

 with 19 people!  The Lake House Waterfront Grille along the       sunset over Muskegon Lake at the end of the dinner.

 marina is highly recommended, if you are ever in Muskegon.

 Great food, great service & a fabulous view was enjoyed by all!     

 DSC 0022         DSC 0024

 Muskegon Community College was a great venue for the               MBS display tables at the Bluebird Expo.

 meeting - lots of space, plenty of parking and attentive

 service from their staff.                      

 DSC 0028          DSC 0025

 The registration & check-out table was very busy most of                  Prize Drawings have become a popular part of the

 the day. Here, Ann Gaultney & Liz Hagemeister register                    Festival each year. This table displays all of the great

 some attendees.                                                                            prizes! MBS thanks all of those who donated prizes,

                                                                                                     including WoodCraft Kits, Ann Gaultney/ Gene

                                                                                                     Wasserman, Kurt & Liz Hagemeister & Wild Birds

                                                                                                     Unlimited of Ann Arbor.

DSC 0029                 DSC 0034

Newsletter Director Gail Chapman & Marianne Smith of             Vice President Phil Peterson introduces Jim McGrath

Tecumseh, who is a co-founding member of MBS.                      of Nature Discovery, who did the extremely popular

                                                                                                       Birding by Ear presentation.    

   DSC 0031               DSC 0074

Melanie Manion presented an extremely informative                      Gene Wasserman (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton County

program called Gardening For Bluebirds and More.                      Coordinator) shows his interesting bird photo display

                                                                                                   to MBS member Pete Alberda and his grandchildren.

DSC 0038            DSC 0042

John Harville (Berrien, Cass, Van Buren County Coordinator)         The Bluebird Expo was bigger & better than ever this

talks to attendees about Bluebirds at his booth in the                    year with lots of informative displays and Bluebird

Bluebird Expo.                                                                              gear to look at.

DSC 0046              DSC 0055

New MBS County Coordinator Anita Friend of the Muskegon            The Kids' Activity Area was a big hit with the many

County Wastewater Management System gave a wonderful             children in attendance!

program on all the bird, plant and water conservation projects

her organization is carrying out. If you are ever in this area and

want to vist a great birding and nature viewing area, stop by the

Wastewater facitity!          


More Blue Signtings!

On February 10, 2015, there were more blue sightings in Haslett.  The blue bear is probably even more elusive than the Winter Bluebird!


Winter Bluebird Sightings!

On January 28, 2015, there were rumors of Winter Bluebirds (pictured below) being sighted in Haslett!  Winter Bluebirds prefer cold temperatures and overcast skies. On warm or sunny days they do not stay around very long. 


Record Turnout for 2014 MBS Fall Festival!

The Michigan Bluebird Society held its annual Fall Festival meeting at the Dahlem Nature Center in Jackson on September 7th.  We had a record turnout of more than 35 members and guests join us!  It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had an interesting program schedule. MBS Vice President Phil Peterson gave an informative presentation about using roost boxes during the Fall and Winter months. After his presentation, audience members shared valuable information regarding their own experiences with roost boxes.

Following Phil’s program, Megan Shave, a graduate student at MSU, gave a fascinating talk on the agricultural and conservation impact of kestrel nest boxes in several fruit orchards in Leelanau County in northwestern Michigan. Audience members were intrigued by the high nesting success rate of the nest box program and expressed interest in attracting kestrels locally.

FallFest14Speakers   FallFest14MeganAudience members absorbed valuable information from speakers Phil Peterson and Megan Shave.


Congratulations to the raffle winner Connie Spotts!


Discovery Preserve at Euclid Park

MBS Vice President Phil Peterson assisted local volunteers with the installation of bluebird nest boxes at the Discovery Preserve in Bay City on June 23, 2014.  Six Gilbertson boxes were installed at locations throughout the urban preserve.  Phil instructed volunteers on how to use the conduit/rebar system for the nest box installation.  The Discovery Preserve at Euclid Park is a 12-acre preserve under the care of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy.  The park was formerly known as the Euclid Linear Park and is located at 1701 S. Euclid Avenue, Bay City, MI 48706.  The park has benefitted from several grants and from significant volunteer efforts.  Improvements include enhanced landscaping, bridge repair, removal of invasive species, reintroduction of native species, upgraded restroom facilities, and new interpretive signage. A paved trail provides easy access, and a viewing platform allows observation of wildlife in the preserve’s pond at the end of the paved trail.  Information about the Discovery Preserve can be found on  their web site:                                                                                                  
The MBS is always willing to assist with nest box trail projects. Our main goals with all projects are that the habitat is good for bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting birds and that concrete provisions are in place for the boxes to be maintained and monitored. Contact us if you have a good location for a bluebird nest box project.


2014 MBS Spring Festival A Big Success!

The 2014 Spring Bluebird Festival on March 29th was a huge success and the organization’s best event to date. Over 100 people came out on a chilly but sunny day to the Hagerty Center in Traverse City to learn about bluebirds and native birds. The view of iced-over Grand Traverse Bay from the meeting room was spectacular and helped showcase one of the many beautiful spots in Michigan. In addition to fascinating programs by Jim McGrath, Dave Barrons, and Kurt Hagemeister, the bluebird Q&A panel discussion was very popular with attendees.  Add to that the Bluebird Expo, Kid's Activity Corner and a delicious lunch and you have the makings for a perfect day!  Below are a few pictures of the event.

The registration table was a busy start to the event!

Lunch was delicious!


The Bluebird Expo was busy all day!


Gene Wasserman helped keep the kids busy at the Kid's Activity Corner!



MBS Elects New Officers

During the Spring Festival on March 29, 2014,  MBS held an election of officers. Kurt Hagemeister (President), Phil Peterson (Vice-President), Ann Gaultney (Treasurer) and Liz Hagemeister (Secretary) were elected to 3 year terms starting immediately.


Help For Genessee County Bluebirds

Hopefully the Bluebird population in Genessee County will be rising, after the great response to the Bluebirds 101 class held in March, 2014 at the For-Mar Nature Reserve and Arboretum in Burton.  The class was taught by MBS Genessee County Coordinator Mary Lee Mason.  Click here to read an article from the Flint Journal with details on the class and the volunteer group who wants to help the Bluebirds.


2013 Spring Festival 

Here are some pictures from the 2013 MBS Spring Bluebird Festival held at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon on March 31st.  Over 80 people attended the meeting to hear the programs, talk about bluebirds, buy nesting boxes and other bluebird stuff, and hike the beautiful trails near the Lake Michigan shoreline.  Many thanks to Don Smith for the great pictures. 

dsc 0303 

MBS V.P. Phil Peterson talks to an attendee about nesting boxes.

 dsc 0304

 Ann Gaultney and Liz Hagemeister did a great job running the registration table.

dsc 0305 

MBS Ingham County Coordinator Gene Wasserman talks to co-founding MBS member Marianne Smith.

 dsc 0326

MBS President Kurt Hagemeister welcomed attendees to the Festival and also gave a talk on getting started with bluebirding.

dsc 0311

MBS put on it's first Bluebird Expo with all kinds of products to help people fledge more birds (and show off their support of bluebirds and MBS!)

dsc 0312

Berrien County Coordinator John Harville talks to attendees about attracting bluebirds.

dsc 0328

Attendees were treated to a fascinating program on raptors by Sue Stamy.  Here Sue holds a Barred Owl. 

dsc 0331

This is just part of the lunch crowd enjoying a beautiful view of the dunes.

dsc 0337

A misty view through the trees.

dsc 0342

The nature hike led by volunteer Lillian Remus gets underway.

dsc 0357 

The long hike through the woods was rewarded by a beautiful walk on a perfect sand beach.

dsc 0358

The late March walk yielded some interesting birds like Golden Crowned Kinglets, Turkey's, and a Brown Creeper.