Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ameren/WBS Nest Box Study – May Counts

May was a very busy month for the Ameren/WBS nest box study.  This month I had two new species nesting in the boxes being monitored for the study!

Many birds have started laying eggs for a second time this season, and some latecomers have shown up.  I have been busy with figuring the numbers, but I also have the latest numbers for the 2012 study.

As mentioned earlier, there are some new birds that have been found in the past month.  House wrens have moved in and are producing a good number of babies.  I have found 14 nests in the last five weeks, and they produced 51 eggs.  Of those, 24 hatched in the last three weeks, but only 6 have been banded because many will not be old enough to band until early June.

The other species that was found was the Tufted Titmouse.  Only one nest was found in the study thus far.  This nest produced 6 eggs and three lived to be banded and fledge.

For many birds, this month was the start of their second clutch.  The second clutch refers to birds returning to the same nest box where they already laid one clutch of eggs and had babies.  In the study so far only Eastern Blue Birds have returned to lay a second clutch.  It is hard to give an exact number of birds returning to lay a second clutch because the adults are not positively identified individually, but I think there are at least 15 nests that have second clutches.

So--down to the numbers for May and for the study thus far.  In the month of May I banded 126 babies.  So far, 96 have left the nest and hopefully the rest will have left before the next time I visit the boxes!

The real numbers that count are the overall numbers for the study up to May 31st.  Over all the study has produced 92 nests out of a possible 240 nest boxes.  These 92 nests produced 552 eggs  and 305 have hatched.  Two hundred seventy-four babies have been banded and 233 of the babies have fledged.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog and have a good one!

Adam Triska. World Bird Sanctuary Field Studies Coordinator 

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