This is a brief end-of-year report. If you would like any other information or more detail, please contact me.
This year the number of successful broods again decreased. This might be due to more competition between the House Wrens, House Sparrows, and Bluebirds. We often saw one nest on top of another. Also, a few of the boxes were perhaps tampered with – some found pushed down the poles. So, we have secured the clamps on these boxes to prevent such problems. There were only 2 successful Bluebird broods nesting in our 13 boxes, each yielding ~4 fledglings.
Perhaps the Bluebirds used more cavities in trees this year. There was one successful Black-capped Chickadee brood and 6 successful House Wren broods, both reasonable numbers.
At the end of the summer, we took the boxes off the three old “No Parking” signs and put up three new poles near these three locations. Of the three boxes that we took down, only one was in good enough shape to continue using. We bought two new House Sparrow resistant boxes and will put those up, along with the one good box at the beginning of the breeding season next year. Two additional boxes will need to be replaced in the coming years, but we will evaluate the effectiveness of the House-sparrow resistant Bluebird boxes before deciding what type of boxes to use for this. Receipts for the poles, hardware, and the two boxes are attached to this email.
With these changes we are hoping for many more Bluebird broods next year.
On an exciting note, a Great-horned Owl nested in the Red-tailed Hawk nest overlooking the UR tennis courts built last year. The nest could be seen either directly from the cemetery or from Wilson Blvd, before the trees leafed out. There was at least one owlet seen in the nest. We did not find a new Red-tailed Hawk nest this year, but have seen them flying around.
October 9th , 2022
Thanks for the update on the boxes. It’s too bad there weren’t more bluebirds, but chickadees
and wrens are nice to have, too. I hope those sparrow-resistant boxes are effective.
My son was visiting from California last weekend. He and I walked in the cemetery one
afternoon. We had the thrill of seeing a red-tailed hawk swoop down and catch a squirrel right in
front of us! It took the squirrel to a nearby tree and ate it while we watched.
We all appreciate your dedication to this project.
October 10th , 2022
We look forward to your reports each year. The FOMH is happy to support this project. We are
so grateful for your long-term committee to our bluebirds and other bird populations in Mount