Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:
|Newly hatched bluebirds|
Two boxes of tree swallows (up to 11 birds) fledged in the past week. I found one of those boxes completely uprooted, post and all, lying on the ground. Inside that box was one small dead tree swallow, too small to have died in the uprooting. I believe the five others fledged before the box fell. The other former tree swallow box had a few old nest materials inside, but no old nest. Who cleaned it out? This is the same box from which a bluebird nest disappeared earlier in the season. I’d never been able to see well enough into this nest to count how many eggs or young birds were in it (the female always sat on the nest), but the male and several other tree swallow friends defended the box each time I visited. There are at least three more tree swallows in another box, ready to soon fledge.
|Alert, nearly two-week-old bluebirds|
Four bluebirds have reached the age of near-fledging, so I did not look into their box today. Another box has three newly hatched bluebirds and an egg inside. Two other boxes each contain four bluebirds between one and two weeks old. Surprisingly, I found five new bluebird eggs laid upon the two old unviable ones (now very deeply embedded into the nest materials) in the persistent female’s box. She has kept incubating her eggs for weeks and weeks. Hopefully, these new ones will hatch successfully.
There are now five empty boxes on the trail.