This week has had its ups and downs. We have had an adult, female bluebird who was actively nesting go missing and we suspect that she was predated upon by a Cooper’s Hawk or an outdoor cat. While unfortunate as this loss is, we are thankful for the clutch she reared successfully and the offspring of that clutch are now fledged and independently feeding and exploring.
The other two active nesting sites were more fortunate this week:
The pair that had clutch failure earlier in the spring has successfully re-nested and laid eggs which have just hatched into 5 nestlings! We were able to put a PVC sleeve over the post that supports the nestbox and add a sparrow-spooker to the top to help ensure these nestlings are safe from predators or harassment. We’ve started to supplement mealworms to this location and this morning the parents were observed to be delivering the mealworms to their young.
The other location with nesting bluebirds has also began to work on a second clutch. This morning I discovered an egg laid in the same box the other clutch was reared in! Very cool to see them re-using the nestbox. I also was fortunate enough to observe the fledglings (from the first clutch) creeping around a huge willow tree eating bright green caterpillars.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work at the bluebird project right now involving grant writing and organization for next year’s goals…
Have a great long weekend!
– Braden Judson