The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis ) fledgling count at Fox Haven was up to 157 in 2014. These delightful and photogenic birds fly in Fox Haven’s open fields bordered by forests, and nest in one of the 80 bluebird boxes around the farm.
Blue birds have plump bodies, short legs and tails, and a short straight bill. The females have a grey/brown head, light orange breast, and white belly. The males have reddish orange breast and throat, white belly, and blue wings and head. Bluebirds make their nests out of fine grasses and pine needles. They begin nesting here in April, sometimes as early as March, and continue through the summer. At Fox Haven they tend to nest 2-3 times per year and compete for nesting space with Tree Swallows and Wrens. Tree Swallows use rougher materials and a feather or two to build nests while Wrens use sticks. The Tree Swallows and Wrens have been known to puncture Bluebird eggs to take over a nesting site. Read about bluebird food preferences, communication, mating behavior, habitat needs and more.
Meet our new volunteer Bluebird monitor Orietta Estrada!
For the 2016 bird breeding season, Orietta Estrada, an Environmental Biology graduate student at Hood College, will be monitoring our Bluebird nestboxes as part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s “NestWatch” project. Orietta will also be surveying Fox Haven’s different habitats for eBird, taking photos, and reporting on the latest bird news and research. We’ll be compiling her observations and writings as the Fox Haven Weekly Bird Report! Stay tuned through the spring and summer!
NEW ! WEEKLY BIRD REPORT !
Bird Newsletter Fox Haven May 26
Past Volunteers : Don and Nancy Hambright were our bluebird stewards. They monitored the Bluebird boxes and keep count of eggs, hatchlings, and clean out the nests once the birds have flown. Bluebirds lay one egg a day; Don and Nancy have found 5-6 eggs in one nest. The mothers incubate the eggs, but both parents will feed the offspring, even after they fledge, which happens between 5-6 weeks after hatching. Make your own bluebird box (read directions here), and then learn how to make your own Bluebird habitat by placing your Bluebird box 20-25 feet from a tree, position the hole so that the fledglings can see the trees, and keep an area mowed so the birds can more easily capture insects. Boxes need to be cleaned after each nesting season so the birds will return.
Fox Haven is very grateful for all that Don and Nancy Hambright did to monitor our Bluebird boxes. They were volunteers extraordinaire!
For information on bird habitat at www.allaboutbirds.org.