Well here we are, this is a long overdue blog with the final count of the boxes I monitored in 2017.
Now give or take a bird or two in Area One because of how bizarre the weather was through the Spring, being so cold and wet, and I had adult birds refusing to leave their nests for egg counts. Then come hatch time, it's not easy to do head counts in all the nests. I don't like making it a habit of pulling baby birds out. In the end though I am confident my numbers are fairly accurate.The ground was so saturated throughout the Spring with all the rain.It was hard on the returning insectivores like Tree Swallows; and while Bluebirds will eat berries, it wasn't any easier on them as they return many weeks before the Swallows.
Perhaps this will give you an idea on the amount of rain we were dealing with. That's the same run off.
Area One... 13 nests and 65 fledged.
The Forgotten Land... 3 nests and 16 fledged.
For those who suck at math, that's 16 nests and 81 fledged Tree Swallows.
Wouldn't you agree?
In 2016 I was monitoring 19 boxes in Area One. Seven pairs of Tree Swallows nested and just over 30 fledged. We took down 3 boxes this year, not expecting our pairs of nesting birds to pretty much double.
In 2016, The Forgotten Land was not known to me. It was great discovering this slice of paradise so close to my home. It brought me the Bluebirds. Despite all the disappointments and tragedy, in the end 2 Bluebirds fledged thanks to a devoted father Bluebird who did not abandon his children after the loss of his mate.
It has been a mission to attract Bluebirds to Area One, and I feel it will happen one of these years. Discovering The Forgotten Land and being blessed with that species was a gift and also educational. Monitoring wild birds is not all farting rainbows and fairy dust. Shit happens, lots of shit, but that's their life in the wild. It's difficult to be passionate about this and not get emotionally involved, taking the defeats to heart.
I'm already excited for 2018.
Good things are happening this fall but they will be shared in another blog later this month.
So, for the moment, let's celebrate the success. I have proven that all these birds and boxes needed was a little love. As you can see, I've still not figured out how/why this blog won't separate my paragraphs. Can anyone offer me a little assistance here? It would eliminate my silly photo adds here as I try to break the blog up.