This morning, the picnic grounds and parking lot were a mess of discarded bottles and the aftermath of fireworks. I didn’t open the hanging nestbox nearest this area since the five bluebirds inside are close to fledging. I could hear bluebirds nearby. I also didn’t open the box with five tree swallows in it for the same reason.
Four bluebirds fledged in the past week. Their parents quickly built another nest on top of the sparse old one and they’ve already laid two eggs, beginning the THIRD round of nesting this season.
In one box, two bluebirds had just hatched and two eggs remained. Another box contained only one week-old bluebird and two failed eggs. A shell from another egg lay outside the box on the grass. I removed the two failed eggs. I don’t know if the hatchlings failed to break through or the eggs were damaged by an outside source. The fifth box with bluebirds had one tiny bluebird inside and no evidence of the other two eggs that had been in there last week. The sixth bluebird box still has five eggs in it. As I checked the male parent dove at me, his wings clicking ominously.
Three boxes are empty—the house sparrows have given up. As I checked one empty hanging box, I noticed in the grass under the tree a recently fledged robin. Its parents were nearby scolding me.
To date on the trail 18 bluebirds, 16 chickadees, and one cowbird have successfully fledged