It’s always fun to see the parents poke their heads out keeping an eye on you. Here’s a female Western Bluebird peeking out.
Almost all boxes have nests now! Hardly any empty ones. Peak of the 1st wave is approaching! Many eggs in incubation right now.
These are the first House Wrens of this season! Will have more soon, lots are hatching right now. They are feisty little guys.
We had a lovely morning with volunteers making nestboxes for the Putah Creek Nestbox Highway. With help from the Putah Creek Council, Engineers Without Borders, and the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, we now have 17 more boxes that we can put up as replacements or to expand our sites for the next season. 🙂
We are super grateful that all these people spent their time to help us with our songbird project.
These photos are taken by Irene Engilis:
Many more Tree Swallow and Western Bluebirds are laying eggs, a few have even hatched!
Here are some better pictures of WEBL and TRES nests from this afternoon:
Western Bluebird nest with eggs
Tree Swallow nest with eggs
It’s always fun to see them poking their head out to see what’s going on.
Remember the first nest of the season with the nuthatches? We banded the nestlings this morning. They are very healthy, their fat score is a nice 4 or 3 (the range is 0-7), well fed, have good parents! Other measurements we take include wing chord, tail length, tarsus, weight, and some others.
It was hard to get a good picture of them since they kept their eyes closed and put their wings up, but here they are. We named them Bernie, Sandie, Andie, Mandie, and Randie.
I heard an Ash-throated Flycatcher on Tuesday at Russell Ranch, and hearing and seeing another at McNamara Orchard this morning confirms that they have arrived at the creek. They migrate later than the other nestbox users, but alas they have come. They probably won’t start making nests for another couple weeks. Last year our first Ash-throated Flycatcher egg was in the first week of May.
Right now we have 16 nests with eggs, and 1 nest with chicks (the nuthatch nest). Most of nests with eggs are House Wren eggs. Western Bluebirds and Tree Swallows are starting to lay eggs as well – we’re at 2 Tree Swallow nests with eggs, and 3 Western Bluebird nests with eggs.
Here’s a bluebird nest from this morning with a few eggs (they will lay between 4-6 eggs):
Here’s papa bluebird keeping an eye on us. Some songbird adults will dive-bomb us, or sing aggressively, or clack their bills in frustration as we check their nest. Others will just perch nicely nearby and observe us.