NestWatch Season Wrap-Up 2020

Black-capped Chickadee eggs
Black-capped Chickadee eggs

Jim Armbruster – Research Coordinator

And just like that summer is almost over. While we are still running several research projects through the fall and winter, the end of warmer temperatures means an end to nesting birds. Even in the rehab department, they are almost through baby bird season with only a few straggling fledgling chimney swifts in care. This brief period of down time allows us to look back at the results from nesting season here on our campus.

American Robin eggs

Forty-six nest sites were documented this summer with 17 total nesting attempts that led to 63 eggs and 45 total young. As far as we can tell all the young were able to successfully fledge out of the nests at the end of the season. Highlights this year included another successful brood of Bluebirds, a nesting Red-eyed Vireo behind our admin building, three families of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers nesting in cavities throughout the VINS woods, and a Black-capped Chickadee that was able to successfully nest on a Robin’s old nest behind our exhibits. . Though we don’t usually see evidence of Brown-headed Cowbirds, a species that lays their eggs in the nest of other birds where they often out compete that species’ young, there was one fledgling observed recently on campus.

Checking the Red-eyed Vireo nest

All-in-all it was another productive year for birds on campus. As always we would like to thank Aine and Ian our Citizen Science volunteers who conducted the nest visits throughout the summer and prepared our nest boxes for the winter.

American Robin nestlings

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