Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: July 15, 2015

Heliopsis in Como Park
Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:

Woodland trail

Only five nest boxes are now occupied, and all of them belong to bluebirds. In the past week, the last of the tree swallows, at least three, fledged. Four bluebirds also fledged. That pair of bluebirds may begin a third brood—a new nest has already been built on the old empty one. Eight more bluebirds from two nest boxes will likely fledge in the coming week. There are four week-old bluebirds and five eggs in the two other boxes. To date, the trail has fledged at least 19 bluebirds, 20 tree swallows, and 6 chickadees.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: July 9th, 2015

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: July 2nd, 2015

Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:
Growing bluebirds

Tree swallows
The first six tree swallows fledged. Up to twelve more may do so in the next week. In the fourth tree swallow box are at least three week-old birds.

There are now five boxes occupied by bluebirds in all stages of development. One box has four blue eggs in it, two others each have four less-than-a-week-old bluebirds inside, another has four over-a-week-old bluebirds, and the fifth is the one with the female on the nest. Last week I opened that box to find two blue eggs embedded in it and wondered if they were old, un-viable ones. Either I was wrong and she is incubating new eggs, or she hasn’t yet given up on the first batch.

Three boxes are now empty.
A steadfast mother

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Como Park Bluebird Trail Update: June 23rd, 2015

Post contributed by Sharon, volunteer bluebird trail monitor:
First five bluebirds hatched in Nesting Round 2

The first five bluebirds from the second round of nesting have hatched. There are eleven bluebird eggs in four other boxes. This week, the female bluebird who always sat on her nest was not there. Inside were only two of the five original eggs laid, and those two were more deeply embedded into the bottom of the nest than is usual. I believe the nest has been abandoned and those two remaining eggs are unviable. I also believe that bluebird pair moved to the box “next door” (that had been used by chickadees and was emptied last week). A new bluebird nest was constructed in that box and there is one blue egg in it. Another box had five bluebird eggs in it last week, four were white and one was more blue. The blue one has been rolled to the top edge of the nest this week.

Two of the four tree swallow boxes today were filled with the chatter of week-old and two-week-old youngsters. A female tree swallow sat on her nest in another box, though the young hatchlings should be about a week old by now. The fourth tree swallow box contained a female and her recently hatched young. Two boxes on the trail are empty.