Follow the natural resources team as we restore Saint Paul's natural areas with the help of generous grants, project partners, and volunteers.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: June 6th
Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer Bluebird Trail monitor:
Remains of damaged bluebird eggs
Young cowbird that just fledged
One or two bluebird youngsters will fledge sometime in the next week.Two nestboxes contain 9 bluebird eggs.Two more nestboxes contain a total of 6 younger-than-two-week-old bluebirds.When I checked on one of those boxes, I was surprised to hear a vigorous fluttering as I unscrewed the screw holding the door closed.Before I knew it, out flew a little bird—not a bluebird—a young cowbird.It landed on the grass in front of the box.Cowbirds fledge in 8-13 days, earlier than bluebirds, at 16-22 days.The little cowbird hopped and flew onto the low branches of a nearby pine.
A nest that last week contained 3 bluebird eggs had only the remains of destroyed eggs—yolk and a few tiny pieces of egg.I removed the nest.
A new grassy bluebird nest was built in the next nearest box, over the remains of the tree swallow nest that had not been incubated.
Tree swallow on nest
A tree swallow is incubating eggs in another nest.When I opened the box I tried to part the numerous feathers to see any eggs, without any luck.I finally realized the mother bird was inside incubating when I saw her straight dark tail feathers.She did not make a move even with all my probing!
Chickadees will fledge soon from the last chickadee nest.
A male house sparrow sat upon the top of the last hanging nestbox.He’d put just a bit of grassy material and sticks on the bottom of the box, which I cleared out.