|Blue Ridge Young Birders Club||
I monitored the Bluebird trail again this weekend and had a lot of fun. It was such a gorgeous day! As we propel towards August and the Bluebird season winds down, this was likely the last "mega day" for the trail but a bang it was!
Our 3 Tree Swallow chicks from Box #1 have fledged and I cleaned out the old nest. Box #2's partial nest from last week is actually a Bluebird nest and it has 4 eggs! #2 might give #3 a run for it's money as most productive box of the season. I didn't open Box #3 as chicks are close to fledging.
Boxes #4, 5, 6, and 9 remain empty.
Box #7's 4 Bluebird chicks have fledged and I cleaned out the old nest. Box #8's House Wren nest is still only a partial nest with no eggs. Unfortunately we have to assume the nest has been abandoned. I cleaned it out. So close to having that first nesting record of House Wrens on the trail! Still not too late for this season (well, it's almost too late), but there's always next year!
Quick update as we sail into the final 1.5 months: Right now Boxes #2 and 3 our only active boxes, and by next week only Box #2 will be active (unless a new nest is built in one of the boxes). It is quite possible that Box #2 will be our final nest for the season. All boxes still need to be monitored until 2 weeks after the last chicks fledge.
Max monitored the trail this week and invited Walker along. It was Walker's first time on the trail which was wonderful! Thanks for doing this, Max! Boxes #1 and 7 were not opened because chicks were close to fledging.
Box #2 has a partial Tree Swallow nest already, after an old nest being cleaned out last week.
Box #3's 5 Bluebird chicks continue to look great. Boxes #4, 5, 6, and 9 remain empty.
Box #8's partial House Wren nest is not yet complete and has no eggs. Unfortunately, if there is no more progress next week, we'll have to assume the nest has been abandoned.
Athen monitored the Bluebird trail this weekend and found lots of activity.
Unfortunately the suspected ill chick from last week in Box #2 did not survive, and was found dead, and none of the other 3 eggs had hatched. The dead chick and nest was cleaned out. I have contacted Albemarle County Bluebird Coordinator Ann Dunn about this but have not heard back. I am curious as to why this may have been, but the heat certainly hasn't helped the Bluebirds this year.
2 of the 5 eggs at Box #3 have hatched, and the chicks were recorded at "Day Zero"! It is always such a treat to get to see chicks this young. I would expect that Max will find that at least 2 of the other, and hopefully all 5 eggs have hatched, next week.
Boxes #4, 5, 6, and 9 remain empty. Box #7's 4 chicks continue to look great. Box #8's 4 Bluebird chicks have successfully fledged. Correct info is written below -there is a mishap on the form- A House Wren has built a partial nest in Box #8 on top of the Bluebird nest (which the chicks have fledged from). There are no eggs in the House Wren nest as of yet. Hopefully Max will find eggs next week - this would be our first House Wren on the PVCC trail!
Thanks to Athen and his mom Renell for a fabulous job monitoring, and good luck to Max next week!
Ben was scheduled to monitor the Bluebird trail this weekend, but unfortunately his dad got called into work at the last minute and he was unable to monitor. I enjoyed monitoring the trail this weekend, but am disappointed that Ben didn't get a chance to. Hopefully he'll still be able to go out before the season is over.
Box #1's 2 chicks are now 14 days old and looking good. It is a very well feathered nest, hard to see into. I know that there are at least 2 chicks, but there may be a 3rd.
Box #2 potentially has an issue. The nest is a small nest, about half the size of the normal nests. The Bluebird mom decided to the 4 eggs in the nest this small, and nothing really we could do, and I was hoping for the best. This weekend one of the eggs has hatched, and I am optimistic that it may be a newly hatched chick, but unfortunately it looks perhaps more like a a 3-4 day old chick that is not doing well. We will have to keep an eye on this nest.
Box #3 now has 5 eggs. I would expect Athen to find chicks in this box next week.
Box #7's 4 eggs have hatched and are now 3-5 day old chicks. The parents were dive-boming me today!
Good luck Athen next week!
Shea monitored the Bluebird trail on this 16th week. 4 boxes remain empty but Shea got to see some great activity. The activity is winding down as we enter our final quarter of the season but there is still plenty of time for birds to begin new nests. Thanks to Shea so mu
I monitored the Bluebird trail again this weekend and found a lot of activity.
Everything is going great on the trail, with the exception of Box #4. The 4 Bluebird eggs have hatched, but sadly, at approximately 3 days of age, the 4 Bluebird chicks died. I found the 4 dead chicks in the box. I am unsure of the cause, but it has been extremely hot recently, and this box is in direct sun. Over-heating is the only reasoning I can come up with.
Moving on, I found 3 young 0-2 day old chicks at Box #1. They were so cute and had their mouths open, thinking I was mama there to feed them!
Box #2's 4 Bluebird eggs continue to look great. I would expect Shea to find chicks here next weekend. Albemarle County Bluebird Coordinator visited the PVCC trail over the past week and has confirmed that the rest of the Tree Swallow chicks (now all 5) have successfully fledged from Box #3, and she cleaned out the old nest. There was quick turnaround at this box, and this weekend I found a complete Bluebird nest with no eggs.
Boxes #5 and 6 remain empty. Box #7 now had 4 Bluebird eggs. Box #8's 4 Bluebird eggs have hatched and chicks are now 5-7 days old. The 3 Tree Swallow chicks from Box #9 have fledged and I cleaned out the old nest.
It's an exciting time on the Bluebird trail and I wish Shea best of luck next weekend!
I monitored the trail this weekend and found lots of activity. It was a lot of fun to be back on the trail again.
Two boxes had very surprising finds. Box #6 held 1-3 day old chicks last week, and the nest was empty today. Even if the chicks were 3 days old last week, they could not have fledged by now, and we suspect there has been predation at this box. All Boxes on the trail have baffles but this is the only one without a noel guard. Box #6 needs a Noel Guard.
Another big surprise was at Box #3 where 3 of the 5 Tree Swallow chicks are still in the nest. They are now fully feathered out and I can even seem to tell which are males vs females (1 male, 2 female). They are approximately 34-36 days old and it is a huge surprise that they are still in the nest, though, given that there were 5 chicks last week, we can assume 2 have already fledged, and the other 3 will soon. They seemed alert, active, and healthy, and should fledge soon. I have emailed county coordinator Ann Dunn to see if she has any insight on why the chicks are in the box so long.
At Box#1 the continuing Tree Swallow nest has feathers obscuring the view into the nest. Both parents were very nearby and there were eggs last week, so in all likelihood, all is well. I had a larger mirror with me, I will bring a small mirror next week, which should allow me to collect more data on this box.
Box #2 now has 3 Bluebird eggs after being empty last week. It will be curious next week to see if there are more eggs (likely) or if 3 is the final clutch size. The birds are very busy and wasting no time this year!
Boxes #4 #8 still has 5 Bluebird eggs and both will quite likely have young chicks next week. Box #5's 3 Tree Swallow chicks have now fledged and I cleaned out the old nest. Disregard the form, 3 chicks have fledged from this box, not 5!
Box #7 has been empty all season, surprisingly, but finally had a complete Bluebird nest today. There should be eggs here next week.
It was fun monitoring the trail today, and I look forward to next weekend, too. I hope everyone has enjoyed
Athen monitored the trail this weekend and was assisted by Andrew.
There was a lot of activity on the trail. Box #1 had 3 Tree Swallow eggs in a complete nest after just a partial Tree Swallow nest last week, It will be interesting to see if there are more eggs next week or if 3 will be the entire clutch.
The biggest surprises this week were at boxes 3 and 5 where the monitorers found "near fledging stage" Tree Swallow chicks. 15 days prior these chicks were feathered out and aged at "Approx. 14 days". This is very late for fledging chicks and they will certainly fledge soon.
Box #4 now has 5 Bluebird eggs, after 2 last week. 5 should be the final clutch size. Box #6's 4 Bluebird eggs remain. Chicks may be found in this box next week. Box #8 now has 5 Bluebird eggs, after 1 last week. 5 should be the final clutch size.
Thanks so much to Athen and Andrew for a superb job monitoring! It's an exciting time on the Bluebird trail.
I monitored on 6/1/14. Boxes 4, 6, 8 had bluebird eggs. There are empty nests at boxes 1 and 2. Box 7 is empty without a nest.
Sylvia and Gabriel monitored the trail this weekend and reported a lot of activity. Boxes #1 & 8 had empty nests, and the old nests were removed and the box cleaned out. Box 2 & 4 remained closed as chicks were near fledging. It was interesting to see that box #6 had it's previous chicks fledged, and new eggs were laid in the old nest. We will need to watch this box to make sure there are no problems associated with the box being reused.
Note to This Week's Monitor
Monitorer for August 23-25:
Do Not Open Box #2 As Chicks Are Close to Fledging.
Monitor Boxes #1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 as usual.
Enjoy your monitoring experience!
Monitorer For August 30-September 1:
Clean out old nest from Box #2 as chicks will have fledged.
Monitor Boxes #1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 as usual. Enjoy your monitoring experience!