Nest Box Update 4.10.18

Everything looks great out on the bluebird trail. All of our 6 nest boxes have nests and all but one has eggs. Only one nest had a bird incubating, so egg laying may yet continue.

There are 3 bluebird nests and 3 chickadee nests.

The Cow Pasture nest has a full compliment of 6 eggs. An adult was incubating as I opened the inspection door on the side of the nest box. Soon after I took the photo you see below, she flushed and both adults scolded me from the surrounding vegetation.

Parent sat tight as I opened the Cow Pasture nest box (4/10/18). She sits on 6 eggs.

The Explore the Wild nest which had no eggs last week now has 6 speckled eggs of the chickadee variety.

Six eggs for the chickadees at the Explore the Wild nest (4/10/18).

The Into the Mist nest box was empty last week, it now has a bluebird nest inside.

A bluebird nest at the Into the Mist nest box (4/10/18).

There are 4 small chickadee eggs in the nest box next to the Parking Deck. There may be more next week.

Chickadees have so far laid 4 eggs in the nest next to the Parking Deck (4/10/18).

The Woodlands Classroom nest box now has 5 blue eggs in it’s pine needle-lined nest, bluebirds.

Woodlands nest holds 5 bluebird eggs (4/10/18).

And lastly, there are now 4 bluebird eggs in the nest at the Butterfly House.

Four bluebird eggs at the Butterfly House nest (4/10/18).

In summary, we now have six out of six occupied nest boxes. Three chickadee nests, the Cow Pasture, Explore the Wild, and Parking Deck nest boxes, have a total of 16 eggs. One, the Parking Deck nest, was started late and has 4 eggs while the other two have 6 each.

Three other nests, all bluebird nests, have a total of 9 eggs, zero in the Into the Mist nest, 5 in the Woodlands nest, and 4 in the Butterfly House nest.

All looks good for a successful season, but a word of caution. Many things can happen from the time eggs are deposited and the time the nestlings, if the eggs hatch at all, fledge. And remember, house wrens, destroyers of many a bluebird and chickadee nest, have not yet returned to our area from their winter quarters. They’re due very soon and we may see losses then.

Although all of our nest boxes have predator guards installed below them, one can’t accurately predict what might happen as far as predation is concerned. I do think, though, that we’re good in that area.

Besides natural “disasters,” I was able to determine that over the years we’ve lost one nest due to the careless placement of a sprinkler system and another due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a nearby idling, gasoline engine vehicle. The potential reoccurrence of both has been eliminated. However, on at least two occasions, nests were lost to undetermined causes, mysteries I couldn’t solve.

For now, I’m looking on the bright side and hoping for the best. See you next week.

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