This is the first official 2018 status report of our bluebird trail nest boxes. We have six nest boxes located across our 84 acre campus, from the Cow Pasture near the Train Tunnel, through Catch the Wind, to the south side of the campus near the Woodlands Classrooms.
I’ve had to make adjustments over the last seven or so years that I’ve been monitoring our nest boxes, allowing for changes in landscaping practices, new exhibit openings, and even parking deck construction. Bluebirds like to nest in open situations and I’ve had to move several nest boxes to get them in as open an area as possible.
Even so, we only had one successful bluebird nest last year with 3 fledged birds. Carolina Chickadees fledged 9, and house wrens, the bane of many a nesting bluebird too close to edge habitat, fledged 11 birds.
Last Tuesday (2/27) I checked all of the nest boxes, cleaned them and placed new 1/2 pint berry baskets inside each in anticipation of early nest attempts. One nest had already been started. It was, and still is, in the nest box located at the Butterfly House. That nest box was also the box which housed the 3 bluebirds that fledged last year. No surprise.
This week, the nest looks to be in the same state of construction as last. The cooler weather the past week may have curbed the birds’ enthusiasm. I expect, though, that I’ll see more work going into the nest by next week.
But, as usual, we’ll have to wait and see.