The North American Bluebird Society (NABS) is searching for and considering worthy grant proposals relating to the study of bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting species in North America. All interested individuals are encouraged to write to us at the email address indicated below.

Instructions for NABS Research Grant Application
Thank you for your interest in the North American Bluebird Society (NABS) research grant program. To be considered for funding, please prepare a proposal packet that includes the following items:

I. Cover letter

II. Grant proposal (required content):

A. Project Title
B. Name, contact information (phone, email, mailing address) and affiliation of applicant
C. Introduction
D.  Project motivation (e.g., what question(s) will this research project answer, what theory is being tested or what are the expected results?)
E.  Anticipated benefit as it relates to the mission of NABS (please be specific).
F.  Research Protocols

1. Methods
2. Cavity-nesting species of interest
3. Study location
4. Any permits required
5. Timeline
6. Literature Cited

G. Detailed budget, including other funding sources and the amount requested from NABS.

III. Letters of support (2 letters required for students, 1 letter required for other applicants).

IV. Brief biography of the investigators, including educational achievements.

The proposal must be submitted by November 1st, via email, to

All items must be combined into a single pdf document. (Free conversion software is available online at If you do not have access to software to create a pdf, a single Word document is acceptable. Applicant’s last name should appear at the top right corner of each submitted page and each page should be numbered at the bottom/center of each page.

Please restrict the file to a maximum of 10 pages.

Please be advised that projects to create or maintain small or individual bluebird nestbox trails are not eligible for NABS grants unless they are being established for research purposes, or unless they are a part of a larger scale, long-term bluebird conservation effort (e.g., establishment of bluebird trails on golf courses or public parks) and if assurance can be provided that the project will continue to receive support and active supervision for the life of the trail. Such supervision would include assuring that proper nestbox trail management will be practiced and trail productivity reported to the appropriate organization. Likewise, assurances must be given that all nestboxes will be removed if the project is terminated for any reason.

Grant recipients are expected to submit progress reports periodically and to submit a report summarizing project results within 3 months of project completion. Recipients may be asked to summarize project details and results for submission to the NABS Journal.

Background Information: NABS Grants are funded by an endowment named for our founder, Dr. Lawrence Zeleny. The Zeleny Fund was established to award educational, conservation or scientific grants or other grants which further the purpose and mission of the society, to promote the prosperity of bluebirds and other native cavity-nesting species and to engage in such pursuits as may be beneficial to the prosperity and well-being of the three species of bluebirds and to other native cavity-nesting bird species in North America. NABS contributes a portion of Life Membership fees directly into the endowment and encourages further donations to the Zeleny Fund in order to help finance worthy research.

Policy: NABS accepts and reviews grants once each year. The deadline for grant submission is November 1st. Every effort is made to complete the review process by February 1st. Priority is given to research regarding bluebirds, but grants involving all native cavity-nesting birds will be considered on their merit. Since 2007, NABS grants have been awarded for research pertaining to Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Prothonotary Warblers, Barn Owls, American Kestrels, Purple Martins, and Red-headed Woodpeckers. Grants have ranged from $500 to $5,000 with an average of approximately $1,800 to date. It is NABS policy that “overhead” expenses be limited to no more than 2% of the requested grant amount.

Grant applications: Please email grant applications (and questions) to Bernie Daniel, NABS Grant Committee at

The New York Bluebird Society also contributes funds to the NABS Grant program.  Since the NYSBS has a representative on the NABS Grant Committee, they are involved in the evaluation stage prior to grant decisions.  This cooperative approach is available to other affiliates interested in supporting research on cavity nesting birds.  Affiliates can contact the Grants Committee Chair for more information.