Nesting season is winding down and few nest boxes have nestlings in them anymore. If a nest box has a completed nest in it, feel free to clean it out if you’re certain it is no longer being used. If birds have fledged successfully from a nest box, it will have a bunch of feces piling up inside of it – this is a strategy the parents use to get their kids to move out! They stop cleaning up after them until the box is so gross that they have no choice but to move out and feed for themselves. Also, be wary of mice feces inside of nest boxes. It is uncommon, but I have seen it in a few boxes. Mice feces can harbor a variety of pathogens if the dust is inhaled or touched, so remember to use tongs or a gloved hand to handle nest materials and a respirator mask to avoid breathing anything harmful in. If you need any materials please let me know and I can get them to you.
Last week we had two nestling bluebirds hatch (out of five eggs laid). We are unsure as to why the clutch had a relatively low hatch rate, but suspect that it’s because it’s the first breeding season of both parents. We’ll be banding these birds on Monday so bluebirders can track individuals in the future. Our other bluebird sites are stable with parents interacting with fledglings and enjoying the bright summer weather from fence posts and oak branches.
Project personnel and many support biologists and experts came together to complete a threat assessment document this week. This process generates an all-inclusive list of the threats affecting Western Bluebirds and assigns a scope and severity to each threat. This type of activity provides valuable information, as the most important step in any conservation project is understanding why a species needs conserving in the first place.
Another reminder that we’ll be having our annual appreciation event on Monday, August 12th at 5:30pm at Don and Theresa Carson’s home. More info is provided in our email group and last blog post. Hope to see you all there! If you can bring a side-dish, appetizer or desert it would be much appreciated! We are trying to have a zero-waste event so remember to bring your own cutlery, plates and a lawn chair.
Thanks for reading,