As of Sunday, May 14 (Mother’s Day!), there are 16 nestlings and 5 eggs along the Davis Nestbox Network! The 16 nestlings mean that all eggs that we observed so far have hatched, and no nestlings have been predated. The oldest nestlings are a group of 6 tree swallows by Northstar Pond:
We measure the wings of a few nestlings in each box to estimate their age and when they can be banded.
The youngest nestlings are a group of five bluebirds. They barely have any feathers yet!
All of these nestlings will be banded within one week. If we band them later, there is a risk that they fledge early. They grow up so fast! As none of the parents of these nestlings are banded, hopefully we will see some banded individuals return next year.
Today, we checked the Davis Nestbox Network boxes along the Covell Greenbelt and found eggs in two bluebird nests! Each nest had five eggs belonging to unbanded adults. We also found one more egg in the tree swallow nest, making 6 eggs total!
To our surprise, when we took down one of the nest boxes, there was a female inside the box incubating eggs! We put the box back up immediately and waited for her to fly out.
There was also a tree swallow inside the nest box when we arrived. Warm eggs means that the birds have been incubating.
Three weeks ago, we saw two feathers: the first signs of tree swallows investigating the real estate by North Davis Ponds.
This week, a group of 6 of us returned to the box and found that the adults have chosen this box as their home! They have put in a lot of work to fix up the interior. Today on the Friends of North Davis Ponds First Saturday Bird Stroll, I saw both tree swallow adults going in and out of the box, working hard to prepare their home for eggs.
I am very happy that one of the Covell greenbelt nest boxes is occupied during this first season that we put them up. Hopefully, more birds (and bluebirds in particular) will begin to use them next year, if not later this season. Indeed, I have observed a few bluebirds every time I have walked around the greenbelt. I am also happy with the great turnout, pleasant weather, and successful monitoring this first week of the Spring quarter!