Nest Box Preparations
by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager
One year ago (March 10, 2020) bluebirds were beginning to nest in a nest box at ChesLen Preserve. I didn’t get nesting activity at Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary until a few weeks later on March 25. I don’t expect Bluebirds to begin nesting quite that early this year. We still have a quite a bit of snow pack even in the meadows, and it colder in those areas than where there is bare ground.
Still, this should be a reminder to get out and clean out your nest boxes. There may be nests from last year that need to be removed so that birds have a clean slate for nest building. Mice often move into nest boxes over the winter, and you want to remove them. I didn’t have any this year because mice were able to stay safely under the snow.
Once you clean out your boxes, it is time to start monitoring every week. Bluebirds are already singing and courting in the yard. So, as soon as the time is right, they will begin nesting and laying eggs. If you monitor your nest boxes, you don’t want to miss that.