Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bluebird and Swallow eggs

Yesterday (24 May), we stopped after work to check on the nesting boxes at the Ziibiwing Center.  Out of seven boxes, we found five active nests - one Eastern Bluebird (Sialis sialis) nest and four Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) nests.  The remaining two boxes showed evidence of House Sparrows and were cleaned out.

Here are photos of four of the active nests; the fifth nest had a swallow in the box and we didn't open it.

First up is the Bluebird nest.  This box was also used by a pair of Bluebirds in 2016 - last year they successfully raised five young.  The colder weather this spring has delayed nesting for many birds.  At this point last year, the Bluebird chicks were a week old.  As of yesterday they were still eggs.

Eastern Bluebird eggs (photo by Shara LeValley)

Next is a picture of a Tree Swallow nest.  You'll notice the difference in nests right away.  Bluebirds construct their nests of fine grasses.  So do Tree Swallows, but then they line their nests with feathers.
This nest got a late start - the bird have only laid one egg so far.

Tree Swallow nest and egg (photo by Shara LeValley)

The final two active nest both contained six Tree Swallow eggs.

Tree Swallow eggs (photo by Shara LeValley)

Another Tree Swallow nest (photo by Shara LeValley)

We'll check on the boxes again next week - hopefully there will be baby birds to show.

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