Bluebirds!!

March 20, 2013 | Greg Dodge

This nest box is located on the left of the walkway to the SERC and next to the Picnic Dome.

Well, it’s that time of year again when the wild creatures of our little world here at the Museum begin to procreate, to bring more wild creatures into the world (actually, there’s probably not a month out of the year when there is not some sort of procreation going on out in the wild).

Our bluebirds have begun to build nests in at least four of the six nest boxes placed out for them. One of the nest boxes holds what looks like the start of a titmouse or chickadee’s nest. All of the others are bluebirds.

After checking and cleaning the boxes last week I didn’t expect to find much activity, the boxes were all empty when last checked. But, I saw a report on the local bird listserv that bluebird eggs had been seen in a nest here in Durham so I thought I’d check ours. Sure enough, the birds have been busy. No eggs yet, but it’s a beginning.

The nest boxes at the Train Tunnel, Amphimeadow, and Butterfly House all have the makings of bluebird nests inside their cedar walls. And, I’ve already mentioned that the nest box next to the Picnic Dome contains a chickadee or titmouse nest.

The moss in the bottom of this nest box indicates either a chickadee or titmouse has moved in.

The Picnic Dome nest was the first that I visited and although it didn’t hold a bluebrid nest, I’m happy to have the other birds make a go of it.

I knew immediately that bluebirds were building in the nest box at the Butterfly House. When I approached the box a pine needle stuck out from the door, a dead giveaway.

The pine needle was a sure sign of what was within.

Here’s what was inside. Note the moss at the bottom of the nest, it may have been started by a chickadee.

The nest box in the “Cow Pasture” next to the Train Tunnel.

This nest, in the “Cow Pasture” nest box, has just been started.

I’ll be checking the boxes weekly and reporting my findings, so stay tuned. Let’s hope for a successful season.

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