Yesterday I went out on the bluebird trail with Al. I accompanied him on a trip to the Jordan Valley bluebird trail – this trail is up in the Owyhee Mountains just outside of the small community of Pleasant Valley, on the Idaho side of Jordan Valley. As you’ll hear in this interview, this is where Al ended up while living with his older brothers at age 12 after his mother died. This time of his life clearly had a strong impact on Al, and it’s telling that he chose this spot to set up one of his bluebird trails.
There were only 4 or 5 nestboxes that had chicks ready to receive their US Fish and Wildlife leg bands, so this was an unusually quick trip. Despite this, it was fun as always to see all the bluebird nests in various stages of development and to hear the bill-clapping of the bluebird parents as they fly in to defend their nest.
On our way back to Boise, I convinced Al to take a break from driving and let me ask him a few questions for this podcast episode. He was gracious and willing to help as always, and despite the fact that we interviewed him for Bluebird Man half a dozen times, I still heard some new stories!
In addition to a few new stories, we get an update from Al on the status of his bluebird trails and he shares his thoughts on how the Idaho landscape has changed over the past 90 years.
Listen to the podcast episode here:
Tags: al larson, banding birds, bluebird conservation, bluebird man, bluebird nestlings, bluebirds, citizen science, Idaho, Idaho history, mountain bluebird, nestbox