Last week there were five nestlings in the Cow Pasture nest box, they have all fledged (7/9). With the fledging of the Cow Pasture brood, all of our six nest boxes are empty. There’s a jumble of twigs in the nest box next to the Picnic Dome, but I don’t expect to see any more added to it, it hasn’t been worked on in over two weeks.
This year there was a total of 33 birds fledged out of our six nest boxes, 20 Eastern Bluebirds and 13 Carolina Chickadees. Three nest boxes were used exclusively by bluebirds (Cow Pasture, Amphimeadow, Butterfly House), two nest boxes were only used by chickadees (Sail Boat Pond, Picnic Dome), and one nest box was first occupied by chickadees and then bluebirds (Bungee Jump – chickadees fledged, bluebirds failed). Incidentally, the Cow Pasture, Amphimeadow, and Butterfly House nest boxes all hosted two broods each, the second of which failed at the Butterfly House.
Our most productive nest box was the Cow Pasture nest box fledging 9 bluebirds from two broods (4 and 5). Our least productive nest box was the Sail Boat Pond box which fledged a single brood of 3 chickadees. Let’s not forget though, this is the nest box that housed ants, bumble bees, and at one point there was a wren getting in the way of the chickadees moving along with their plans for a family. The chickadees got a late start.
As mentioned, two nests had failures. There were three nestling bluebirds in the nest box next to the Bungee Jump that were found dead, presumably due to a violent storm that went through the area. Another bluebird nest at the Butterfly House was raided by an unknown assailant, probably a raccoon, with all five occupants missing, only their feathers were found strewn across the ground beneath the nest box. One of the parents, the male, was also found dead a few feet in front of the nest box.
The first inspection of the nest boxes was conducted on March 19 and the last on 9 July, although I’ll probably have a peek at them all again next week for good measure.
The totals for 2013:
Eastern Bluebirds Fledged – 20
Carolina Chickadees Fledged – 13
What’s next? Well, there are two Green Heron nests in the Wetlands. Hopefully, we’ll soon see some fuzzy-headed heron chicks in those nests!