Baby Birds

We went on the very best hike ever.  Our volunteer project for the summer is monitoring bluebird boxes.  These boxes provide an alternative habitat for bluebirds,chickadees and other cavity nesting birds whose natural nesting locations like dead trees are being removed.

The trail consists of twelve specially designed boxes that provide a home while minimizing risk of predators.  As a volunteer, we get the privilege of opening the boxes and actually seeing the nests.  We record the state of the box.  Is there a nest?  What kind is it?  Who is inhabiting it?  Are the eggs?  How many? Are there baby birds?  How old are they?

We went with another family on the hike which meant there were a total of 6 kids ranging in age from 0-10.  I had the Baby O and the monitoring supplies so the other mom was in charge of pictures which mean they will have to be posted later.

It was cool going with big kids.   The oldest became our recorder taking notes of what we found in each box.  They ran ahead vying for the opportunity to open the box.

This was the perfect timing for the hike since we got to every possible option.

We saw bluebird nests with eggs
We saw a wren nest with no eggs and a wren nest just being started
And even a chickadee nest. 

It was fun showing the children the differences in the nests and letting them guess who made it.  

There was a questionable partial nest which may belong to a house sparrow.  House Sparrows are an invasive species which kill bluebird hatchilings. We are supposed to remove their nests if we find them. 

The absolute best part of the hike came at the end when we saw a nest of five day old bluebird hatchlings.  We picked up the little ones so that they could look inside and try to count the babies.  We got guess between two and five.  I am very excited about going back and watching them grow. 

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