Bluebird Update 8/5/14

Mom brings two of her fledglings to the feeders in Catch the Wind.
Mom brings two of her fledglings to the feeders in Catch the Wind.

The occupants of the last remaining active nest in our six nest boxes here at the Museum have fledged. Four new bluebirds have been added to the local avifauna. I do not expect further activity in any of the boxes. All that remains is the counting.

Curiously, the total number of birds fledged (33) was precisely the same as last year. However, the make up of that total was different. Last year there were 20 bluebirds and 13 Carolina chickadees raised in our nest boxes. This year the bluebirds increased their number by 7 to a total of 27 fledged, and the chickadees dropped to six.

The Cow Pasture, Amphimeadow, Picnic Dome, and Butterfly House nest boxes were used exclusively by bluebirds. The Sailboat Pond nest box was the exclusive home of chickadees and the Bungee Jump nest box was used first by chickadees and again by bluebirds, although that nest failed. Two of the four bluebird eggs in that nest failed to hatch. The two nestlings that did hatch from the remaining eggs were later found dead inside the box.

There was one unhatched egg in the chickadee nest at the Bungee Jump nest and one unhatched egg in a bluebird nest at the Picnic Dome.

The most productive nest this year was the Amphimeadow nest box with two broods of 9 bluebirds fledged (5, 4). There was a three-way tie for the least productive nest box, the Bungee, Sailboat Pond, and Picnic Dome nest boxes, each with three fledged birds. The Sail Boat Pond (chickadees) and Picnic Dome (bluebirds) nest experienced only one nesting attempt each while the Bungee nest box first hosted chickadees and then bluebirds (the bluebird nest failed).

Looking back at last year’s summary, you may notice a similarity in the two seasons in regards to the Bungee Jump nest box. In both years, that nest box was first used successfully by chickadees. A nesting attempt by bluebirds later in the season failed. I can’t explain either failure. I may need to move this nest box.

The first inspection of the nest boxes was on March 11 and the last on 5 August.

The totals for 2014:

Eastern Bluebirds Fledged – 27

Carolina Chickadees Fledged – 6

See you next year!

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