Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters
 
bluebirds

2008 Trail Report

Northeastern Connecticut
Monitor: E.A.Z. (Bet from CT)
Website: http://www.sialis.org

I maintain five bluebird trails in rural northeastern CT (hardiness zone 5-6), for a total of 86 boxes. MY MATH NEEDS TO BE DOUBLECHECKED!

  • Chimalis Trail: pole-mounted boxes in a rural residential area with a mix of lawns, Christmas tree farms and meadows, with some streams and wetlands.
  • The Smith Memorial Trail: pole-mounted boxes at a closed landfill (meadow, surrounded by woods) and transfer station.
  • Hill Experimental no Trap Trail: 4 hanging 2 hole mansions, the remainder are single holed boxes, mounted on poles with no baffles :-<. No House Sparrow (HOSP) trapping on this trail.
  • Roseland: pole-mounted boxes in a park by a lake
  • Taylor Brooke: pole-mounted boxes in a HOSP-infested vineyard.

Here is a summary of Year 2008 combined action. TOTALS: All in all, in 2008, 203 birds were fledged from 86 boxes. Of those:

  • EABL: 74
  • TRES: 106
  • TUTI: 1
  • WBNU: 13. More.
  • BCCH: 10
YEAR
# BOXES
EABL FLEDGED
OTHER
TOTAL BIRDS
FLEDGED
HOSP ATTEMPTS
HOSP TRAPPED
2002
4
5
10
15
countless
unknown
2003
13
4
25
29
7
115+
2004
28
26
88
114
10
39
2005
47
25
93
118
9
25
2006
54
53
123
176
1
36
2007
64
41
122
163
2 (1 LF, 1 Chimalis)
1 EUST attempt
78 ( 2 at LF)
Chimalis
41
17
1 TUTI
10 BCCH
5 WBNU
50 TRES
2 F TUTI
83
45
Landfill
18
17
51 TRES
F TUTI
F BCCH
68
0
0
Hill Trail
12
10

7 WBNU
F BCCH
F TUTI

17
0
Roseland
8
21
2 BCCH
UNKN HOWR
23
0
0
Vineyard
7
10
0
10
27
2008 Total
86
74
1 TUTI
10 BCCH
13 WBNU
106 TRES
= 126+
201
72
TOTAL
86
228
591
816
None successful
365 +

CONCLUSIONS AND SPECULATION

  • None

COMMENTS, WEIRD STUFF AND LESSONS LEARNED

  • Found a dwarf House Wren egg in July. Pictures.
  • Very late bluebird nesting starts.
  • I installed a nestcam in a Gilwood used by bluebirds two previous years, before nestbuilding began. They had been checking it out beforehand, but I think the cam spooked them off. Gilwoods are not well suited to nestcams - too small and dark, and you have to thread the cable out the entrance hole (above the bar.)
  • Still haven't had my one TX Bluebird Society box used by anyone, in three different locations.
  • Finally had the two-hole pole mounted

SUMMARY OF LOSSES

No adult birds were lost that I know of, other than a dead HOWR found a clutch of eggs on the Hill trail - possibly as a result of a HOSP attack.

  • HOSP: Continued passive and active control efforts.
  • WEATHER: Very cold and rainy in June (only 27% of days were sunny.) Seemed to keep paperwasp numbers way down. Also had good luck with vaseline. More on paperwasps.
  • HOWR: Lost a full nest of Tufted Titmouse eggs, and a clutch of bluebird eggs.
  • OTHER: Found a dead male bluebird on an empty nest in July. Top of bird was unmarked, chest was 'excavated" - not sure how long it had been dead. Also one dead bluebird nestling, fully feathered, same month, and several Tree Swallow nestlings in one at box at the landfill.

QUESTIONS FOR 2009

  • None

PLANS FOR 2009

  • Put baffles on ALL boxes
  • Put silicone (DAP clear exterior) on all roofs that are cracking
  • Keep better records! (I say this every year.)
  • Keep expanding, updating and correcting my website at http://www.sialis.org with information gathered from others and lessons learned. Expand to more cavity-nesters nationwide.

Notes:


All bluebirders must feel like "one of the chosen ones" when we are fortunate enough to have nesting bluebirds on our own property....
- Lillian Lund, Sialia, 1984

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May all your blues be birds!

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