Friday, April 3, 2009

On the Bluebird Trail at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Yesterday, April 2nd, Susan and I conducted our regular monitoring of the 33 Bluebird nest boxes at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in late afternoon. We are currently beginning the third month of monitoring. We usually monitor the boxes first thing in the morning and this is for a very good reason. In addition to monitoring the boxes, we also take some time to do a little "birding" along the way. The morning is the best time to see different species of birds. However, yesterday we saw on that we would have a small window of opportunity to do our monitoring without the rain so we altered our start time by just a few hours.

Since we monitored a little later in the day than usual we did not see quite as many birds but we did note 11 different families of birds which included 13 unique species: Canada Goose, Eastern Bluebird, House Finch, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee, Pine Warbler, European Starling, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, Carolina Wren, American Crow, and the Turkey Vulture.

The garden is a wonderful place to visit all throughout the year as you never know what bird you just might see. Every week is different. A couple of weeks ago we spotted a Pileated Woodpecker overhead and in upcoming weeks we fully expect to see the beautiful Ruby-Throated Hummingbird return to the garden. There is really never a bad time to visit the garden.

Spring is typically a great time to move and the birds are following suit. They are picking their choice locations and moving in! We have seen an increase in nest building already over last month. At the end of March we had a total of 13 nests in the boxes and in the first week of April we noted 15 nests in the boxes. The really exciting thing we recorded was the increase in egg production. Just since the last monitoring in March we found that the number of eggs in the boxes has more than doubled.

This is just the second year of monitoring the Bluebirds at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. It will be a very exciting year for everyone at the garden to see what the changes are from last year to this year and also in the years going forward.

If you are a bird fancier and want to start keeping an eye on the birds in your own backyard, be sure and visit the Garden Store at DSBG. They have several of the same nest boxes in the Garden Store that we are monitoring regularly. And, even on a rainy day when there is nothing much to do, you can sit at your window and watch those beautiful flying jewels light up your front yard. I hope to see you in the garden!

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