Bluebirds! Chinn Park Trail Update

Guest Post by Amy Wilson, Chinn Park Bluebird Trail Leader

The bluebird trail at Chinn Park library and recreation center is having a very successful season!  So far this season, in our twelve boxes, we have seen a total of 31 cavity-nesting birds fledge.  Of these, eighteen were Eastern Bluebirds, eight were Tree Swallows, and five were Chickadees.

A nest of three Bluebirds chicks and another of five baby House Wrens will be fledging any day now, and there are five active bluebird nests (with a total of eighteen eggs so far) and one active tree swallow nest (containing four eggs) underway.

If all of the current chicks and eggs go on to successfully fledge, that will bring our total fledgling count for the season up to 61 birds!  That number seems bound to increase even further, because now we are seeing birds already beginning to brood their second clutches of the season in four of our boxes.

There have been a few problems this season, as there always are.  One nest with six eggs (Chickadees or Titmice) was destroyed by an unknown predator.  We have also had a few problems with house sparrows (a non-native species that can destroy bluebird nests and eggs and even kill hatchlings) trying to take over one box.

In another box, however, pushy little house wrens (a native species that is highly competitive with other cavity nesters) seem to have been bested by a pair of bluebirds, who have laid a clutch of five eggs in the house wrens’ starter nest.  We’ll be keeping an eye on the drama to see how it turns out!

Success is not measured only in terms of the number of birds fledged, however.  By any measure, our volunteers have also been having a great season!  This year our team of volunteers includes eleven local residents engaged in this citizen science effort. 

Even more people have become involved when volunteers have brought along their families to participate, and two community children’s nature clubs have also taken part.  Whenever people have the opportunity to become directly involved in supporting wildlife in their own community, people and nature both benefit!

If you’d like to become involved in this fun and important project, we welcome your participation.  Trail leader Amy Wilson would be happy to take you on a tour of the Chinn Park bluebird trail and show you the ropes, and help you get connected for the 2012 season.  Email Amy at amelia.wilson@verizon.net.

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2 comments so far

  1. AG on

    we have a bluebird box in our backyard. Twice now we saw that the box had been opened and the nest desroyed. We do not know what kind of animal could do this and we are additioanally mystified because the metal latch that is horizontal when the door is closed is still in the horizontal position when the door is open. Can you help us identify our preditor?

  2. Kim Hosen on

    It’s hard to say exactly which predator could have disturbed your nesting box without knowing more. There’s a long list, including raccoons, snakes and people. We recommend you take steps to safeguard your nesting box and prevent predators from reaching the box itself.

    We recommend a baffle to prevent predators from scaling the pole. Also, you should make sure it’s not near trees or other structures a predator could use to drop down onto the box and gain access from above.

    This is just the short list, we have more information about how to protect your nesting box in our article Bluebird Home or Snake Feeder?

    Good luck with your backyard nesting box, and keep us posted on what happens. Maybe next time you write, we’ll get to hear about your happy, healthy chicks!


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