Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs.
We have four nest boxes full of nestlings. With the rapidly growing nestlings its becoming difficult to tell just how many there are in each nest, they look like a big pile of feathers. Additionally, there has been one hostile takeover.
The nest at the Cow Pasture is full of nestlings ready to fledge. It looks as though there are four nestlings in the nest.
The Explore the Wild nest box is still on the inactive list. I don’t expect any changes here.
Again, at Into the Mist, the nestlings are packed too tight to distinguish one occupant from the other. Are there four or five nestlings in the nest? Initially there were five eggs. But I’m not certain they all hatched.
The chickadees who had four eggs in the nest at the Parking Deck East nest box have been usurped by house wrens. The birds had a late start to the season. They still had eggs in the nest when the house wrens made their migratory return from the south.
I heard a house wren calling nearby as I made this morning’s inspection of the nest box. House wrens are known to remove entire nests from both manmade and natural cavities containing nests with or without eggs. Once the eggs hatch there is less of a chance the nest will be taken over. I have yet to see that happen on our bluebird trail. Ideally, the nest should be completed, with eggs laid and hatched before the wrens return in spring. The chickadees didn’t meet those requirements, putting themselves at risk of being ousted by house wrens.
The bluebirds on the west side of the parking deck had 5 eggs two weeks ago. At last week’s inspection I wasn’t sure how many of those five had hatched. Now, I can see for certain that there are four nestlings in the nest at this time.
And last on the list is the Butterfly House nest box. Again, there were five eggs in the nest initially. It appears as though there are currently only four nestlings in the nest.
So, at the beginning of week eight we have what appears to be 16 nestlings in four nest boxes, 12 bluebirds and 4 chickadees. The 4 chickadee eggs that were in the nest box on the east side of the parking deck have been destroyed by house wrens along with the nest itself.