Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Bird Habitats

The avian nest box monitoring network is located in northern New Mexico to monitor ecosystem health by investigating the health and condition of cavity-nesting birds on the Pajarito Plateau.
February 2, 2015
Avian nest box on LANL land

Boxes are placed in the open ponderosa pine forest of the canyons and piñon–juniper woodland on the Pajarito plateau mesas.


  • Environmental Communication & Public Involvement
  • P.O. Box 1663 MS K491
  • Los Alamos, NM 87545
  • (505) 667-3792
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The monitoring data are used in a population viability analysis that can determine the status of the population and potential impacts of historical LANL releases.

Who nests in our network?

More than two dozen North American bird species may nest in bird houses. At LANL, the following native bird species are found in our nestboxes:

  • Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) - primary species
  • Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens)
  • Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli)
  • House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
  • House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

The main objective of the avian nestbox monitoring network is to measure bird populations and productivity as an indication of ecosystem health at LANL.

The project has over 500 nest boxes placed on or adjacent to LANL land.

All adults and nestlings Western Bluebirds are banded, and return band numbers are recorded.