Friday, June 14, 2013

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: June 14th

Male bluebird on top of
Schiller monument
Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:

Three eggs in one of the bluebird nests have disappeared, with very little trace left behind—only a few blue bits of shell on the outside of the nest.  This happened last year, too, at the same nest box.  The box is mounted on a post, and protected by a predator guard, but some unknown predator is eluding it somehow, perhaps coming down from the nearby trees?  If a new nest is started in this box I will attach an exterior wire mesh guard and see if that helps.
      There are five more boxes with bluebirds nesting inside.  Two have a total of six eggs; three have 14 healthy, growing bluebirds inside.  The male bluebird who last week was still looking for a mate evidently found one, as a beautiful nest has been built and one blue egg laid inside.  The male of that pair found an excellent perch atop Schiller’s head!
      In one tree swallow nest there were five pink newly hatched tree swallows.  Their mother flew out when I approached and did not dive bomb me as I checked, but waited patiently and quietly nearby.  In the other tree swallow nest, which I have never been able to see
Nest full of chickadee eggs

into very well due to the mass of feathers, I photographed either the parent bird on the nest, or a very large young bird nearly ready to fledge.

One week old bluebirds
      There are two active chickadee nests, one with eight eggs, and the other with young chickadees near to fledging age, so I did not open that box, in case I would scare the young into fledging too soon.  I heard a parent chickadee nearby, and young inside “dee-ing” in reply.
      I did not open the wren’s box, as I noticed more sticks and material up to the entrance hole and opening it might have pushed that material down onto the nest.  The mother flew out, so she is tending the eggs or young inside.
      All eleven boxes are now in use.