Bird Box Surveys – by John Twomey

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Leigh and I just completed our June survey of activity in the bird boxes we installed on Midcoast Conservancy property at Whitten  Hill Field area on the Hall Dale Road in Montville.

We found full occupancy!!! – Baby tree swallows are in all of the bird boxes.   We were concerned that some of the nests might have failed due to the very cold/rainy spell that just ended.   In spite of the trying weather, all of the young tree swallows are alive and very lively.

The adult swallows will be feeding their young from now until about June 24, offering excellent viewing opportunities.   In addition to being able to see this activity from the Whitten Fields Trail (in the large field) and a short ways down the Big Pines Trail (in the small field), viewing is also possible from a vehicle by parking on the Hall Dale Rd (on the side of the Whitten Field).  Field glasses will enhance the experience.

UPDATE – June 15

Friends,

I had observed Thursday that five chicks perished in one of the boxes last week – and I had hope/expectation that the parents would attempt to re-nest after I cleaned out the dead chicks and nesting material.  I thought you might be interested in the outcome. I cleaned out the box on Thursday the 7th of June.  Today, only 8 days later, I checked the box and found that the bluebirds have not only rebuilt the nest but have laid two eggs thus far.  I expect the hen to lay a couple more eggs and then begin to incubate the eggs. Pretty remarkable, pretty resilient!

Best, John