Bluebird Update May 10, 2012

The female of the house watches me as I approach her nest box (Train Tunnel – 5/8/12).

Another week gone by and more changes. Things move along quickly in the bird world and our little Bluebird Trail is a good illustration of that rapid change.

The bluebirds that nested in the box near the Train Tunnel, which lost most of its nestlings, have started to rebuild. I observed both the male and female tending to the nest on Tuesday (5/8) and again the following day. I want to keep a close eye on this nest so that the same thing doesn’t occur as did during the birds’ last attempt at nesting where they lost all but one of five nestlings due to, I believe, hypothermia.

There is fresh pine straw in the box, the nest is dry, and the adults seem to be busily working at starting a second brood.

The nest box next to the Bung, or Take Off, in Catch the Wind (5/8/12).

The House Wrens that have decided to nest in the nest box next to Take Off have so far laid three eggs. There will probably be more.

Three eggs are clearly visible in the bottom of the wren’s stick nest (5/8/12).

The nest behind the Sail Boat Pond is still empty, there were only a few ants in the box this week so it looks as though they’ve decided to move out after several urgings by me.

The nestlings in the Amphimeadow nest box have all fledged, the nest is empty.

The nest box which is located near the Picnic Dome is also empty. Presumably all nestlings fledged and are well on their way to fending for themselves.

The Butterfly House box has the makings of a new nest. If you remember, the nestlings that occupied that box fledged during the last week of April. It’s time to start a new brood.

Just a few pine needles in the nest so far, but it’s a start (BFH – 5/8/12).

So, as of May 8, we have three empty nest boxes, one each at the Sail Boat Pond, the Amphimeadow, and the Picnic Dome. Two new bluebird nests have started, one at the Train Tunnel and the other at the Butterfly House (nest material only), and a House Wren nest is in one box which contains 3 tiny eggs.

What will these nests look like next week? You, we, will all have to wait and see!

2 responses to Bluebird Update May 10, 2012

  1. leslie says:

    Hi Ranger Greg! Thanks for the updates. Will the same parents raise more than one brood per season? Can you tell if it’s the same pair of birds?

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Yes, they can have up to four broods per season. Although I can’t be sure that the same birds that had used any one specific nest box reuse that same nest box for their subsequent broods, it appears as they’re the same birds. Without marking them it’s difficult to tell. But, the female in the photo on the left has a darker back than some of the other bluebirds on site and I’m pretty sure she’s the same bird as last nesting attempt.

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