This year marks the 25th year RBC students and alumni volunteers, under the direction of AP Biology teacher Mrs. Davis,
have been assisting Cornell University’s “NestWatch Project”.
Nest Watch, conducted by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, is a nationwide monitoring program designed to track the status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds. The project collects data from all over the country into a database designed to assist with the study of the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals.
In recent years, the RBC Introduction to Engineering class designed and constructed newer nesting boxes which the students and volunteers installed at Dorbrook Park. This year engineering students opted to use PVC for nesting boxes instead of cedar hoping to improve their durability. The students will be monitoring the boxes in Dorbrook Park to assess the results. Student volunteers enter nest data into the NestWatch database.
Now into its third decade, the project has been a very worthwhile endeavor and as Mrs. Davis notes, "Caseys have staying power. In 1993 when the project began, Middlesex Community College and a couple of other high schools were involved. RBC has been the only consistent 'force for nature.' Over the years students and alumni have braved rain, snow, brambles and mud to accommodate the cavity nesting birds that could not nest here otherwise. It’s been a great experience for everyone.”