CVNS Bring Back the Bluebird Project Weekly Brief – July 27, 2017

Second clutches are coming along as I type this brief – we have banded 2 nests since the last brief with those nests expected to fledge within the next week and a half. At another site, the eggs hatched on Monday and the parents are diligently foraging for food in the surrounding fields as thrilled landowners watch over them. One is even reporting having bluebirds checking themselves out in a mirror on their deck. Early next week a 4th second clutch will be banded.

Interestingly the nest we banded on Wednesday contained 4 females and a male, and their previous nest was all females. Nests with a single sex are very rare, and we will take all the females we can get! The feeding station at that site has been moved for the third and hopefully final time, as the landowner’s horses somehow manage to knock it down.

The San Juan Island female has yet to lay an egg here in Cowichan but we check back every couple days with our fingers firmly crossed. They have a nest built and continue to defend the nestbox vehemently.

Under the guidance of Genevieve and myself our invaluable volunteers continue to monitor the network of nestboxes taking note of their findings and letting us know of anything exciting. It appears as though swallow and chickadee numbers are up this year; always an encouraging sign.

Our mealworm project continues to hum along producing all we need for the landowners to provide their nests’ supplemental feedings.

Adult Birds: 18+
(We have had multiple reported sightings at various locations – this number is quite likely higher.)
Nestlings: 18
Juveniles: 20
Active Nests: 4

CVNS Bring Back the Bluebird Project Weekly Brief – July 20, 2017

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.)
Nestlings: 15
Juveniles: 20
Eggs: 3+
Active Nests: 4

CVNS Bring Back the Bluebird Project Weekly Brief

The bluebirds have been busy this week with two nests having hatched their second clutch since the last update. One site is currently feeding a brood of 5 nestlings, and the other is hatching as I type this with 3/5 eggs having hatched when the nest was checked this morning.

Meanwhile, another pair is incubating their five eggs of the second clutch, and a fourth pair is behaving as though they’re getting ready to start clutch two.

This week was somewhat slowed down as I’ve been trying to fight off some sort of throat ailment but Jessica has been working hard on our new website with that project nearing completion as well. Despite that we have also been out searching for new birds or to re-sight birds that haven’t been seen for awhile and following up on leads of possible sightings. We still remain optimistic that there’s still birds to be found out there with all the possible sightings we’ve had!

Our predator camera project still hasn’t produced any results which as I’ve mentioned in past briefs is actually a good thing, meaning no unwanted visitors are trying to get into our active nesting sites.

Genevieve and I have also been busy discussing management and planning aspects of the project such as budgets for this year and subsequent years as we move ahead managing and restoring these beautiful birds.

If you haven’t done so I encourage everyone to go and check out our display at The Raptors as well as support their work with those much larger but equally important birds.

Please help in spreading the word that we are looking for bluebirds! Leads from the general public are invaluable.

Adult Birds: 17+
(We have had multiple reported sightings at various locations – this number is very likely higher.)
Nestlings: 13
Juveniles: 20
Eggs: 5
Active Nests: 3