Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs (from previous year).
Official Volunteer Sammie and I went around to all six of our bluebird nest boxes this morning placing new berry baskets inside each as we went. The birds have been singing a bit more than in previous weeks and we wanted to get ahead of them. Though not surprising, a pine needle was found in one of the nest boxes (bluebird?).
The nest boxes have all been cleaned and exteriorly coated and are ready to go.
As a reminder, here is a list of the totals for birds using the nest boxes over the years. There is no data for the 2020 season as access to the nest boxes was cut off due to Covid. But, as you can see, since the year 2012 there has been an average of 24.1 birds fledged each year. Bluebirds outnumbered chickadees and house wrens. House wrens had their peak in 2011 but have since leveled out.
It’s all about timing with the house wrens. If we have an early spring with few storms and cold snaps, chickadees and bluebirds can get an early start on the nest. By the time house wrens arrive on the scene, from their winter retreats, the other birds are well established. With nestlings already in the nest they have little to fear of being kicked out of the nest boxes by the notorious wrens.
Thank you to the Exhibits team and volunteers for all of their help in getting an exterior coat on the nest boxes, fabricating hardware and supplying new hardware when needed for maintaining the nest boxes and their predator guards. Aye, a hearty thank you to you all!!