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Nest Box Volunteers

The purpose of the volunteer Nest Box Program is to attract birds that once lived along the San Diego River in Lakeside back to this restored habitat.  This segment of the San Diego River had long been the focus of extensive sand mining operations and heavy industry.  Such industrial operations are coming to an end and a new phase of the river’s life is at hand; one in which nature and humanity work in harmony.  Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy purchased this property in 2003 and has been busy restoring it by removing invasive species and planting California natives that will attract birds and wildlife back the river.  These critters will use this new habitat to build their homes, find food and breed in.  Volunteers who are accepted into the Nest Box Program will learn about these animals and encourage their introduction back by building, installing, monitoring and maintaining nest boxes.                                        


- Work with local school and community groups with the design and building of a variety of nest boxes for Owls, Western Blue Birds, House Wrens, Flycatchers and possibly Bats.  Must like working with children.

- Install nest boxes in areas that will attract particular species using existing trees or installing poles that support the nest boxes. 

- Monitor, weekly during bird breeding season, each nest box for activities, intruders, and vandalism. 

- Record observations for each nest box during each visit.

- Maintain the nest boxes by cleaning and repairing them as needed.

- Provide educational outreach in general about the River Park and on the Nest Box Program to school children, tours, members, other volunteers and community groups. 


- Must be 18 years old or older.

- Must be fingerprinted to work with children.

- Willing to promote the mission and goals of the River Park and the Nest Box Program to groups and individuals and able to clearly explain these topics to visiting groups.

- Know the common names of local birds and animals found in the River Park or be willing to study available reference books to acquire this knowledge.

- Capable of working independently with little or no supervision.

- Possess good decision making skills and ability to communicate with staff as needed.

- Have the physical ability to work outdoors, in various weather conditions, over natural terrain and able to lift 30lbs.  Feel comfortable on ladders and working with various hand tools.  Notify staff immediately if there are unsafe work conditions.

- Attend scheduled meetings and training sessions.

- Provide own transportation, appropriate outdoor clothing and gear.

- Abide by the rules and regulations of Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy and established volunteer policies and procedures as outlined in the - - - Use Policy and Safety Brochure.

Time Commitment:
The majority of time donated will be during bird breeding season in the spring and early summer.  This is generally between early March and the end of June.  During the breeding season the job requires visiting each nest box every one to two weeks, recording observations and taking appropriate action such as removing old nests or reporting the presence of bees.  Some activities such as building and installing new houses, coordination with community groups and educational outreach may fall outside the bird breeding season.  Scheduling can be arranged with the Program Supervisor or the Membership & Volunteer Manager.



- Enjoying the outdoors while representing Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy in a physically active program.

- Meeting other volunteers and sharing interests.

- Gaining knowledge of local bird species and observing their breeding behaviors first hand.

- Learning about and sharing your knowledge and experiences with others. 

- Developing a greater understanding of birds and wildlife that are special to this specific area along the San Diego River.

- Volunteer recognition opportunities and events.


Because so many volunteers come to Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy with different skill sets, education and experiences training will be arranged on a case by case basis.  Be prepared to work on your own or in a small group with some orientation.  A nest box Monitor’s Manual used at Mission Trails Park is available for instruction and guidance.  Since this program is entering only the second season there are many opportunities to improve and expand the program.  In short, this program is in its infancy and we invite you to bring along your passion and can-do attitude to help create it and make it wonderful!

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