Citizen science monitors of the Friends continue their work in the Preserve during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bluebird trail around the Biocore Prairie has 8 nest boxes designed according to specifications by the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin. While these boxes are also coveted by Tree swallows, and if set up close to the woods, will attract House wrens, the focus of the project is the Eastern Bluebirds. During the week of May 18 monitors Maggi Christianson and Gisela Kutzbach were delighted to observe 4 or 5 tiny Bluebird babies in one of the boxes, forming a ball of fuzz and skin still so pink.
Maggi and Laura Berger had their first monitor training session three days earlier with Jeff Koziol, primary monitor of the project. At that time there were 5 beautiful blue eggs in the carefully shaped nest, made from fine grass. These eggs had been incubated over a period of two weeks since May 4 and were close to hatching. What a thrill for us to see the healthy hatchlings three days later. The parents are busy now getting food, mainly insects, and guarding their offspring. On the photo above the male Bluebird sits guard in the beautiful Bur oak nearby. It will be another 20 days of so before the hatchlings are ready to fledge. You can follow the week-by-week monitoring summaries HERE.
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