Chavez Students Build and Install Nesting Boxes

Corona, CA - In a collaborative effort between Cesar Chavez Academy's engineering class and local conservationists with the Orange County Water District (OCWD), a new project has taken flight at the Prado Constructed Wetlands. Engineering students from the academy have constructed boxes aimed at providing crucial nesting spots for tree swallows, enriching the biodiversity of the wetlands.

Cavity-nesting birds, such as tree swallows, house wrens, and woodpeckers, require small spaces to build their nests, a need that these specially designed nesting boxes fulfill. However, in areas like the Prado Constructed Wetlands, where woodpecker populations are sparse, competition for nesting space can be fierce.

Recognizing the ecological importance of providing suitable nesting sites, the students have stepped up to address this challenge along with their teacher, William Work. The students were hosted at the Prado site by David McMichael, Principal Environment Specialist at OCWD, along with several biologists who were able to point out and educate students on local ecological interests such as plants, birds, and insects. The Pomona Valley Audubon Society assisted in the design of the nesting boxes.

Our students were so excited to be out in nature. They experienced a unique environment and had the opportunity to support the tree swallow population with the nesting boxes they designed and built,” said Work. “Thank you to David McMichael and the OCWD for having us visit, and providing a wonderful opportunity for our students to see an area that many were unaware even existed.  

The impact of these bird boxes extends beyond nesting opportunities. It's estimated that each box will eliminate approximately 300,000 flying insects, as the birds residing in them naturally prey on insects. This natural pest control method not only enhances the ecosystem but also reduces the need for harmful insecticides.

The Prado Constructed Wetlands, with its primary purpose of habitat restoration, provides an ideal setting for this conservation initiative. Students had an enriching day enjoying the grounds and the scenic hike that led to the installation sites and then enjoyed lunch around the pond.

As the bird boxes stand ready to welcome their avian inhabitants, they symbolize the power of community collaboration in creating a more sustainable and harmonious environment for both wildlife and humans alike at the Prado Constructed Wetlands.