Bluebird Update 4.28.15

This week’s inspection of the nest boxes has confirmed that there are now 3 species utilizing our modest bluebird trail here at the Museum. House wrens, after having been responsible for emptying two nests of chickadee and bluebird eggs at the nest boxes at the Sailboat Pond and Picnic Dome have decided to build in the Picnic Dome nest box. This bird, or birds, may later move on without actually nesting, but for now it has taken over full control of the box.

The rest of the nest boxes are moving along as they should. Read more about it below.

Last week at the Cow Pasture I found a female bluebird sitting tightly on her eggs in the nest box there, while I took her photo. I still don’t know how many eegs there are in the nest. The female refused to get up as I opened the door on Tuesday morn. Those eggs have got to be near hatching!

 

If all goes well, I expect to see nestlings in the Cow Pasture nest box next week (4/28/14).
If all goes well, I expect to see nestlings in the Cow Pasture nest box next week (4/28/14).

 

Heading over to the Bungee nest box, I found four nestlings huddled together. The adult female chickadee was in the box as I opened and peeked in. She immediately took flight. I took my photos and closed the box. One of the eggs appears to have failed.

 

I see four hatchlings and part of one egg (lower right) in the Bungee nest (4/28/15).
I see four hatchlings and part of one egg (lower right) in the Bungee nest (4/28/15).

 

Across the path and behind the Sailboat Pond is a nest box that, if you remember from last week’s Bluebird Update, had been taken over by a house wren. The nest had been cleared of its five chickadee eggs and I could hear a wren warbling in the nearby brush. The nest is still vacant. The moss and fur originally placed in the box by the chickadees is still there but nothing has been added to it by either house wren or chickadee.

 

A vacant nest box at the Sailboat Pond (4/28/15).
A vacant nest box at the Sailboat Pond (4/28/15).

 

The Amphimeadow nest box held five bluebird eggs last week. It still contains five eggs. They will most likely hatch by next week.

 

Five bluebird eggs at Amphimeadow (4/28/15).
Five bluebird eggs at Amphimeadow (4/28/15).

 

While inspecting the Picnic Dome nest last week I discovered that a house wren had destroyed the five bluebird eggs that were in the box. The wren left evidence, in the form of twigs, within the nest. This week, I found that the little wren had been very busy over the last seven days, building an entire nest on top of the old bluebird nest.

 

A full fledged house wren nest where once was a bluebird brood (Picnic Dome - 4/28/15).
A full-fledged house wren nest where once was a bluebird brood (Picnic Dome – 4/28/15).

 

And finally, the Butterfly House nest. There are still four bluebird eggs in the nest box, as there were last week. If there is no interruption from predators, or other competitive birds, I suspect these eggs will hatched by next week.

 

Four eggs are being incubated at the Butterfly House nest (4/28/15).
Four eggs are being incubated at the Butterfly House nest (4/28/15).

 

So, we now have 3 active bluebird nests, the Cow Pasture nest, the Amphimeadow nest, and the Butterfly House nest with, likely, a dozen eggs or more. I’m not sure how many eggs are in the Cow Pasture nest since the female has remained on the eggs each time I’ve looked in on her. I suppose, though, that it really doesn’t matter, once the eggs hatch I can count the nestlings.

We have one chickadee nest with four nestlings at the Bungee Jump (Take Off). A vacant nest sits in the nest box at the Sailboat Pond. It was once occupied by chickadees, was raided by a house wren, and now remains empty.

The wren that emptied the bluebird nest at the Picnic Dome nest box has taken it upon itself to build a twig nest inside that box. There are, as yet, no eggs in the nest, and these birds have a reputation for building nests which aren’t used, so we’ll have to wait to see what develops there.

Till next week!

 

 

2 responses to Bluebird Update 4.28.15

    • Greg Dodge
      Greg Dodge says:

      Thanks, Tom.
      The web site URL Tom (our Train Driver here at the Museum) has sent is a live stream of an eagle’s nest in Pennsylvania. Check it out.
      If you click on the link and it doesn’t take you there, copy and paste the URL into your browser.

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