|Eastern Bluebird nest. The chick is only a few hours old.|
|Carolina Chickadess back in the nest after having been banded.|
Of course, a sturdy, water tight cavity is prime real estate to many animals and not all visitors are birds. Several boxes host Flying Squirrels which we allow to stay. Mice are frequent squatters and we try to discourage them. Sometimes, a birdhouse with eggs inside is a boxed lunch for a raccoon or opossum or a snake. Everything needs to eat.
|Young Black Rat Snake inside what had been a bluebird nest.|
|Mice like our birdhouses quite a bit.|
The Tree Swallows have finished nesting for the season, but there are still 3 boxes with House Wren nests and 7 with bluebird nests. Bluebirds can nest quite late into the summer. The latest we’ve had a bluebird fledge on Chino was September 6th! Looks like I have weeks of nest checks still ahead of me. I don’t mind.
Maren Gimpel is a field ecologist at the Chester River Field Research Station. Photos and stories about the goings on of CRFRS can be found at www.facebook.com/crfrc or at www.washcoll.edu/ces/chesterriverfieldresearchcenter