Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nestlings Galore!

Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:
Tree swallow nest with 5 eggs
All eleven nest boxes are in use this week. A new bluebird nest was made in the past week in the empty box, for a total of seven boxes occupied by bluebirds. However, in that new nest is one speckled cowbird egg.

There are 21 bluebirds of all ages in six other boxes. I did not open two of those boxes, because the nestlings are old enough that opening the box might startle them into fledging too soon.

I also did not open the nest box with the chickadee inside for the same reason.

Four over-a-week old bluebirds
Three other boxes contain eight tree swallows over a week old, and five tree swallow eggs (in the box that was under attack last week; they appear unharmed, and the mother swallow flew out as I approached). One of the tree swallow nests had previously been stuck to the nest box door, so I’ve opened it very, very carefully each week. This week, I barely opened it a sliver, and saw two tree swallow nestlings, their beaks against the door, ready to tumble out if I opened it any wider.