Thanks to the help from all my bluebird monitors, we are having a record nesting year.

To date we have had 94 bluebird nesting attempts (defined as a nest with at least one bluebird egg laid). Last year we had 80 for the whole year. So, another quantum leap in the bluebird population. Hurrah!

I’m hoping we reach 100, so please keep checking. We have many nesting pairs having their second brood.  Last year I banded my last bluebird nestling on Aug. 11, which means we can expect new nest attempts through July.

Of those 94 nesting attempts, about ¼ of them fail for one reason or another, but the remaining 3/4s are fledging at least one, and often 4 or 5 healthy new bluebirds.  I’ve been extremely busy trying to band all these new babies, and capture the adults.

On that score, I’ve banded almost 300 new bluebirds and recaptured 22 that we banded last year. Last year I banded 300 for the season. Since we have 18 nests waiting for either the eggs to hatch or the babies to be big enough to band, I expect that we will reach 350 – 375 newly banded bluebirds this year. Whew! I’m going to need my week at the beach which begins on Aug. 11.

Of the 22 recaptured bluebirds, 6 were males and 16 were females.  The adults come back and nest in the same location. Nestlings from the previous year don’t travel very far from their birth site either. It’s been an average of 2 miles. In Kensico Cemetery – our most productive location – several nestlings found nestboxes on the property and one nested in the same box in which she was born. The bluebird literature says this is not supposed to happen. I guess she didn’t read the bluebird manual.   Sandy Morrissey

Educating the next generation of bluebird researchers!

Documenting progress in a nesting box

Weighing a nestling

I’m next!