Our Bluebird count was up this year from last. We had 16 Bluebirds, 96 Tree Swallows, & 7 Chickadees in Myles Standish State Forest. That number, including the boxes I have up in Lakeville and Middleborough makes a total of 82 boxes that yielded 35 Bluebirds total, 162 Tree Swallows, 20 Chickadees, 123 House Wrens and 20 House sparrows.
In the Forest, Curlew Pond, Cutter Field and the Headquarters saw bluebird activity for the first time. The Smokey the Bear field did not yield any bluebirds this year, perhaps because they were frightened off by the mower crash the year before. The East Entrance had its usual pair of bluebirds return, some unhatched eggs from them were discouraging, but we got 5 from them early in the season.
In Lakeville, our typical pair returned to the Peach Barn and the COA in Middleboro saw some great bluebird activity. Tamarack was as popular as ever with the Tree Swallow crowd. Pratt got some tree swallow activity and house wrens as well. Soule Homestead was as mysterious as usual with unidentifiable eggs/nests. We had a good year and I'm hoping this upcoming season is just as successful. Thank you for all of our volunteers that help me help our feathered friends thrive. -Melissa Guimont
Here's the bird box totals for the forest for this year. (as reported August 27, 2015) We had 40 boxes yield a total of 76 tree swallows, 26 house wrens, 20 black-capped chickadees, and 3 phobies. We had a total of 57 nests this year with 199 eggs laid, 156 young hatched and 125 young fledged. We did not have any bluebirds this year. This might be because last year, the mower whacked into a pole that had an active nest in it and it might have scared that one pair we had away.
These numbers are disappointing because last year we had 19 bluebirds and 84 tree swallows and 51 house wrens but 0 chickadees. So bluebirds, tree swallows, and house wren numbers went down a bit Chickadees skyrocketed and it may have something to do with weather patterns or territory situations.
Thanks to everyone who helped monitor this year and I hope to see you again next spring. Happy birding! -Melissa Guimont
Myles Standish is ready to welcome the birds every spring with nest boxes found throughout the forest. This year, we had 7 at Headquarters, 5 at the Smokey the Bear sign, 5 at Barrett's Pond, 5 at Curlew Pond, 5 on the Bentley Loop, 8 in Cutter Fields and 5 at the East Entrance.
Consider putting a box in your yard next spring and enjoy seeing what moves in. Your feathered friends will love it. Attract them to your yard with a bird bath and some sunflower seeds and you might be host to an avian party soon!
All of these boxes are checked weekly from May-mid August by our wonderful volunteers that have learned to recognize nests, eggs, and different bird species. The nesting totals are reported to the Nestwatch program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology every year.
Each bird species has a unique nest as far as what they’ve used for materials to build it. A chickadee, for example, will build a moss nest with tiny white eggs with brown speckles. A bluebird will have a neat, pine needle nest with blue eggs and a tree swallow will build a pine needle nest with feathers on top and pale pinkish eggs.
If you are interested in birds of the forest or volunteering to check boxes, drop us an email at email@example.com.
Happy birding! –Melissa Guimont