It gets said every week, but this week really was a busy one!
We have had 3 exciting events happen this week, along with the usual surveys, feedings, box checks, etc. In order of occurrence:
1) While we were conducting routine surveys at a former bluebird territory Jessica and I found a male who had previously gone AWOL from his nest after it failed following the predation of the female with 3 other birds – two are juveniles (not his) from earlier in the season, and we believe the 4th bird to be an adult female. They have been less than cooperative in letting us track them down so hopefully there will be more on these birds next week!
2) A pair who fledged their first brood earlier in the month has evaded us, until today. We had been assuming that they were just waiting to start re-nesting at the same site as the landowners had been seeing them around regularly, but we found today as we broadened our search for their second nest that they actually wasted no time getting going on their 2nd clutch and have built a full nest and laid eggs at a neighbouring property. The female wouldn’t let me get a good look at her eggs today, but I saw at least 3 and we’ll get a final count tomorrow when we predator guard their new box.
3) This is, in my opinion, the most exciting piece of news. Jessica and I were returning to a former nesting site from earlier in the year where the female went missing to take down the predator guarding and remove the feeding station. The male has been hanging around the site since the female went missing with one of his first clutch juveniles. When we got to the site, Jessica spotted both a male and a female at the site near the former bluebird box. After a mad scramble to get the scope set up, we were able to determine that it was the same male from the site with a female from San Juan Island. Their nest is nearly complete and they were very active around the box.
Interestingly, this San Juan female has spent the last two years with a different male on Lopez Island, just East of San Juan. That pairing has built multiple nests over the two years but didn’t ever lay an egg. Hopefully that record will change this week coming week!
Our other active nests are doing well, with one scheduled to be banded tomorrow, another having hatched yesterday, and the third actively feeding the nestlings.
Adult Birds: 18+
(We have had multiple reported sightings at various locations – this number is quite likely higher.)
Active Nests: 4