Pat Becker, who checked each of the boxes on the Bluebird Trail this Saturday morning, reports:
Will and Louisa Waller walked the Bluebird trail this beautiful Saturday morning. The housing situation in the boxes has not changed significantly over the past week, but the bird families have been busy.
At BB6 two little Bluebird babies have hatched. The Bluebird nestlings in BB9 keep growing their feathers while staying snug in their nest and being fed by their busy parents. It will be at least another week before they fledge. The Tree swallows in BB7 have added another egg to their brood. The House wrens in BB2 added two more eggs. And the Tree swallows of BB4 are filling their nest with eggs. All is well on the Bluebird trail.
See the Bluebird page for details.
Two proud parents watching their nestlings in BB9, along the Savanna edge. On May 17, box monitors Mitchell Thomas and Patricia Becker and Will Waller found 5 little nestlings in the box. Earlier that day, John and Gisela Kutzbach observed the female and male bluebirds keeping watch from a sumac bush, about 20 feet away from the box, and took this snapshot of the pair.
The process goes like this:
1) approach bird box and knock gently to announce your inspection
2) open house carefully: sparrows tend to be buried within their nests via a tunnel and will flash out in your face if you are not careful.
3) confirm nest type to identify bird, if you haven't seen one perching on the box
4) check for eggs
5) record required data on the BRAW form
6) move on to the next box
All of the boxes are easily approached and all are beside regular walking trails. They are sited within a specific "perching perimeter" so that the occupants can guard their box. And guard they do!
If you aren't a birder yet, this trail might make you a convert – that's what's happening to me. The trail takes about 40 minutes to monitor and the entire 40 minutes is filled with genuine excitement. You see the birds up close, they monitor you as you monitor them! The prairie area is no longer quiet, it's a noisy, busy place: hundreds of birds, thousands of bees (we need Hannah Gaines-Day to do a bee-walk), the leopard frogs are out by the hundreds. You cannot walk between the boxes without stopping to watch field events unfold. If you are interested in monitoring let us know (preserveFriends@gmail.com).
If you haven't been to the Prairie this season, now is the time. The old apple orchard is approaching full blossom. The bird houses are occupied. You will see bluebirds. The walk is easy. Comment below on what YOU see.
I'm passionate about the Preserve. Gisela Kutzbach and contributors