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