Thursday, May 10, 2012

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: May 10th, 2012

Post contribued by Sharon, volunteer Bluebird Trail monitor:

Three young bluebirds, about a week old, in the nest that had two cowbird eggs in it.
All of the boxes are now occupied.  Bluebirds completed three new nests since last week (one has 3 eggs; another, 1; and the third has none yet).  There are at least three young bluebirds in each of the other two bluebird boxes.  I was unable to see any cowbird eggs or young in the bluebird nest with the two cowbirds eggs.  It is possible the growing bluebirds are sitting on them, or the eggs hatched and the young cowbirds, who would have been considerably smaller than the young bluebirds, may have been smothered underneath.
      About 15 young chickadees are growing in two nest boxes.  It is impossible to count individuals when they lie sleeping in a heap!  Finally, I was able to see into the third chickadee nest that had been all covered in fur:  it has 8 speckled little eggs.

A young bluebird, about two weeks old,
sleeping against the corner of the box.

A heap of sleeping young chickadees.

      The empty nest with one cowbird egg has been taken over by tree swallows, who’ve built their nest over it and lined the cup with white feathers.  House sparrows began another nest, a platform of grass with a topping of plastic wrappers, in the last box.
(Sorry the quality of my photos is not always so good....  It is very difficult to get a good photo in those tiny, dark boxes when I totally rely on the camera to focus since my head won't fit!  Also, I try to be quick, and not upset the parent birds too much by lingering too long.)