Tom's Blog

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bluebird trail at Pleasant Valley Conservancy

With kind support of Madison Audubon Society, we have set up 11 bluebird houses. Kathie has been monitoring them carefully and has just compiled her report for the year.

Bluebirds occupied 9 of the 11 houses, although not all of them fledged young. The first occupancy, in May, was a failure because all the babies were killed in a cold spell. Fortunately, most houses were reoccupied and were successful. The maximum number of babies per box was five, although one had four, another three, and another two babies.

House wrens occupied nine of the boxes after the bluebirds were finished, and successfully fledged young. Chickadees occupied a single box after the bluebirds.

Oddly, the first chickadee nest resulted in no eggs but instead a dead adult was found in the nest, upside down with her legs in the air.

The bluebird boxes are well spaced around the Conservancy, mostly at the edges of open areas (either prairie or savanna). One bluebird house is very near our cabin, where we can watch the activity, especially at lunch time.

Of course, we have a lot of bluebirds nesting in tree cavities, so that the houses are presumably just a convenience for those birds that stumble on them.


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