As is usual, on Tuesday of this week (5/3) I made the rounds checking the contents of our six bluebird nest boxes on our modest bluebird trail. I found, as I peeked into the nest boxes, 15 bluebird nestlings within three of those boxes. One nest box had no activity, another showed a minimum of activity, and one had become vacant.
The nest at the Cow Pasture was still full of bluebird nestlings. They were crowded in, appeared to be developing well and should fledge by next Tuesday.
Over at the nest next to the Bungee Jump (Take Off), I was greeted by an empty nest. The six chickadees that had occupied this nest box had fledged. I’d been watching this nest from a distance days before and had seen the two parent birds frantically bringing in morsel after morsel of food to the hungry nestlings, it had to be near the end. The young birds were ready to go!
The Sailboat Pond nest had more twigs than last week, but it doesn’t seem as though the house wren who is building the nest is fully committed to the process. Male wrens are know to build more than one nest in hopes that a female will choose one of them in which to nest. She may or may not choose his nest. She may reject them all and build her own. Next week will tell what happened here.
The Amphimeadow nest is empty, no nest material. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts about this nest, it was started by chickadees and later cleaned out by a snake. I made a modification to the nest’s predator guard and am waiting to see if a new nest will be started. Nothing yet.
It’s always exciting to check on the Woodlands nest. I’m usually greeted by the adults who watch me carefully as I approach, even dive-bombing me as I do. This time, both male and female watched my approach with one of the nestlings eye-balling me from the nest box entrance hole.
I was hesitant in walking up to the box, not wanting to force the birds in the nest to fledge prematurely. The birds would be in great danger if they left the nest box too soon and were not yet able to fly sufficiently to escape predators, or even get off the ground.
After some time, the bird at the entrance retreated back into the nest. I approached. The nestlings huddled together as I opened the nest box door, and happily, all remained in the nest. These birds will not be in the nest next week. They may have already fledged as I write. They were ready to go!
The Butterfly House nest was a late starter. It’s nestlings are still days away from fledging. It’s possible they’ll still be in the nest next week, but it’ll be close.
Still not ready to fledge at Butterfly House nest (5/3/16).
We now have 15 nestlings, all bluebirds (Cow Pasture, Woodlands, and Butterfly House nests with 5 each). Six chikadees have fledged (Bungee). There is a partial house wren nest at the Sailboat Pond. Things will be quite different next week. I expect most, if not all, of the bluebirds to have fledged. But as usual, we’ll have to wait till next week to see for sure.