Don and Lowell Franks Nest Box Project

Project Description

Kim Boddie met Don and Lowell Franks after both brothers had retired and were living in Fort Rock. Together they all participated in Winter Raptor Surveys and talked about the nest boxes Don and Lowell had built and set out. For years after the Franks brothers passed away, Kim and his wife Carolyn; friends from Bend; and other ECAS members; took care of the boxes.

The approximately 200 nest boxes run from the backside of Pine Mountain to the south end of Summer Lake, within four main areas. They are Pumice and Sand Springs; Cabin Lake; the Fort Rock area; and Summer Lake Wildlife Area. Most of the nest boxes were built and placed by the Franks brothers but several were placed by others, including Ducks Unlimited, the Boy Scouts, and other birders.

Nest box maintenance in the Summer Lake area must be coordinated with the Summer Lake Wildlife Area (SLWA) due to some closures during waterfowl hunting seasons. A final report date is issued in early spring, after all boxes have been checked.

This project helps increase bird populations by providing additional nesting sites around water sources where natural nesting opportunities are limited.

Why We Do This and What We Have Learned

Cavity nesters are not only jewels of the landscape here, but they also play an important role in our ecosystem. Years ago, these birds depended on natural cavities in trees in which to build their nests, but in recent times, natural cavities have become rare, and in places where nesting cavities remain, they are the target of fierce competition among the birds themselves. This project provides a helping hand for these important birds.

What Volunteers Do

The project consists of caring for nest boxes designed mainly for bluebirds and tree swallows. After nesting season, the boxes are cleaned out, and repaired or replaced if necessary. This occurs each year from late summer, after nestlings have fledged, through late winter, before birds start nesting in the spring.

Project Focus Areas

  • Bird Conservation
  • Modifications of nest boxes for extreme heat

Would You Like to Volunteer?

For more details and to volunteer for the Franks Nest Box Project, email your contact information to project leader, Dan Ankrom, at Put “Don and Lowell Franks Nest Box Project” in the subject line.