2011 Nest Box Season

December 22, 2011

A pair of bluebirds at Paunacussing Preserve – Carole Mebus

In 2011, ten NLT preserves collected nest box data.  These are nest boxes designed for small cavity nesting species like Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Chickadees, etc.  Most preserves have nest boxes, but not all have the staff or volunteers available to do regular (7 – 10 days) monitoring.

Bluebird babies

A nest full of Bluebird babies.

Lee Shull, the Preserve Manager at Reineman Preserve in Carlisle, has great Bluebird habitat along with a dedication to keep making adjustments to promote Bluebirds.  Lee had 51 nestboxes; 29 of the boxes hosted Bluebirds which produced 118 fledglings!  This year he also took the top honors in Tree Swallows with 104 being fledged from his boxes.

Tree Swallow babies

Tree Swallow babies.

Darin Groff at Binky Lee Preserve has a long record of success for Tree Swallows and Bluebirds (90 Tree Swallows and 50 Bluebird fledglings in 2011).  Darin has a very dedicated volunteer, Gail Freese, that monitors and maintains the boxes.

Chickadee babies

Newly hatched Chickdees and eggs.

Mariton had 14 Chickadees fledge out.  While we don’t have the best bluebird habitat, Chickadee nesting has increased in recent years.  I was surprised that we fledged the most Chickadees, especially considering that two broods were lost during the wet and cold spring.

In all, 220 boxes were monitored.  Fledglings produced:  248 Bluebirds, 283 Tree Swallows, 120 House Wrens and 27 Chickadees.