Final Nest Box Update 8.1.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. The bluebird nesting season here at the museum is officially over. There’s no activity in any of our six nest boxes. The table below is a total of all the birds fledged since 2012, when I first began monitoring the nest boxes. There were a total of 36 birds fledged this season. The best years for bluebirds were during the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. Chickadees had their best years in 2013, 2018, and 2023,Read more

Spiny-backed Spider and More

Top Photo: Spiny-backed orb weaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) Only about 1/2” wide, spiny-backed orb weavers are distinctive for their shape and pattern. The individual pictured is mostly white with black markings and red spikes. But, they may also be yellow or red with shades in between. The spines may be black. Some suggest the spines may deter predators such as birds or even subterranean-nesting, spider-seeking, solitary wasps. I doubt birds would be put off by the spikes. I must admit, though,Read more

Nest Box Update 6.27.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. It’s now down to one active nest, a second brood by house wrens. —————————— The nest box at the Cow Pasture now has six house wren eggs. This nest has already produced 4 house wrens. This is the second brood of the season. The Explore the Wild, Into the Mist, and Parking Deck East nest boxes are all empty. I expected an empty nest at Parking Deck West during this week’s inspection of the nestRead more

Nest Box Update 6.20.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We have two active nests. One is a rebuild and second brood by house wrens. The other, a bluebird nest about to fledge its occupants. ——————— The Cow Pasture nest which was empty last week, and which has already fledged four house wrens is at it again. After cleaning out the nest box and putting in a new berry basket, wrens have again built a classic twig nest in the box. No eggs yet. ExploreRead more

Nest ox Update 6.6.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. There is currently only one active nest. House wrens have fledged and bluebirds have hatched. ————————— The four house wrens that had been in the nest box at the Cow Pasture have fledged. I could hear the family warbling away in the woods behind the nest box as I confirmed their departure by peaking into the nest. It was empty. The Explore the Wild and Into the Mist nest boxes are empty. The nest boxRead more

Nest Box Update 5.30.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We now have three nests which show at least some activity. One has four nestlings, one with bluebirds sitting on five eggs, and minimal nesting material in another. ———————— The Cow Pasture nest box has four nestling house wrens. They look healthy and may fledge by next inspection. Both Explore the Wild and Into the Mist nest boxes are empty. The nest box on the east side of the parking deck still has three smallRead more

More May Sightings

Top Photo: Common snapping turtle contemplates its next move. The snapping turtle pictured here was heading towards our wetlands. It may be a new arrival, having come up the creek which lies a dozen or so meters behind it. The creek is where our wetland drains. There’s a substantial drop where a large pipe delivers our wetland’s overflow into the creek. The drop keeps creatures like this snapping turtle from continuing their journeys via a direct route to our wetlandsRead more

Nest Box Update 5.23.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We have three active nests, at least in part. There are four nestlings in one nest, four eggs in another, and nesting material added to another nest. ————————— The Cow Pasture nest appears to have four nestlings. They’re house wrens. Last week I could clearly see four house wren eggs and it appears there are four nestlings piled atop one another now. It’s difficult to see them all, but I’ll check the nest again laterRead more

Nest Box Update 5.16.23

Top Photo: Eastern bluebird eggs. We have three nest boxes which have at least some activity, one has four eggs, one has a complete new bluebird nest, and one has only just a suggestion of a bird’s interest in making a nest inside, one twig was placed in the middle of the berry basket inside the box. ———————— The Cow Pasture nest is doing well. The house wren that was inside the box incubating the four eggs as we approachedRead more

And Then There Were None

Top Photo: Lone barred owlet peeks out from damaged nest. Barred owls are cavity nesters. They nest in holes in trees, nest boxes built for them, or a broken off trunk open at the top, exposed to the weather and other dangers, like predation. On April 29, I posted on this blog about a barred owl’s nest here on campus. At the time there were two owlets in the nest. On May 6, one of the owls fell out ofRead more