Bluebird Update 7.14.15

The last of the active nests has been vacated. The three bluebirds that have been fed and protected by their parents for the past several weeks in the nest box at the Butterfly House, have fledged. They are out in the real world learning how to secure food for themselves, find shelter, and hopefully avoid predators.

The only activity in any of the nest boxes is that of spiders and wasps.

 

A paper wasp hive in the nest box at the Sailboat Pond (7/14/15).
A paper wasp hive in the nest box at the Sailboat Pond (7/14/15).

 

The paper wasp nest at the Sailboat Pond box had been removed twice, was restarted and, since last week, has had only minimal work done to it, a few more cells have been added.

 

An orb weaver at the Picnic Dome nest box (7/14/15).
An orb weaver at the Picnic Dome nest box (7/14/15).

 

The spider in the photo has been in the nest box at the Picnic Dome for at least three weeks. It looks to be a barn spider (Araneus cavaticus), but I may be wrong. I haven’t seen it in any other position other than what you see in the photo, so I haven’t nailed down the identification of the orb web weaving arachnid. It is certainly an Araneus spider if not a barn spider.

I’m not sure what this spider’s strategy is, but I could see no web nearby. Perhaps it builds a web each night and nothing remains of it in the morning when I check the nest box, difficult to say. It is, though, the only sign of life in the Picnic Dome nest box.

I do not think there will be any further nesting activity from the birds. Just to be sure, I will make one more check of the boxes next week. I’ll give a summary of the season, if I detect no further bird activity, at that time.

Till next week.

4 responses to Bluebird Update 7.14.15

  1. Avatar
    Judy Overby says:

    Do you think the heat is responsible for some nest failure? We have not seen any Bluebirds fledge this summer. We checked the nest and it was empty. We have become overrun with cats and my suspicion is they are responsible. What do you think, Greg?

    • Greg Dodge
      Greg Dodge says:

      Our bluebird numbers were down this year, but I can’t say what the cause might be. It could be the heat but I don’t know for sure. I’ll have to check the averages. But, isn’t it always hot in these parts in summer!
      Thanks,

  2. Avatar
    Carol Franciotti says:

    I have 5 Oakworm moths on my back door. They seem to be just hanging out (like in a dormant stage) From what I have read, there must be more, maybe many more…will they do damage to my very mature Oak trees. Do I need to do something? I do not use toxins/pesticides nor do I kill anything besides a mosquito…UGH! Please help. Thank you!

    • Greg Dodge
      Greg Dodge says:

      If you’re talking about yellow or orange striped oakworms, they probably won’t kill the tree since much of the tree’s seasonal growth has already taken place. I wouldn’t worry too much, You can, however, collect the moths that you see on your back door. You’ll then be sure that those individuals are not making more oakworms.
      Thanks,

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