This month we welcomed Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University to our NestWatch Chapters Program. Coordinated by Brendan Keegan, this chapter will engage Arboretum visitors in building and monitoring nest boxes on the property. With an active birding community in Boston, Brendan is excited to introduce more people to the joys of watching nesting birds up close. Welcome, Arnold Arboretum!
Interested in becoming a NestWatch Chapter? Learn more here.
Reports of nesting birds are starting to come in from Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and other balmy locales. Rangewide, Great Horned Owls are sitting on eggs (despite the recent polar vortex). Nesting season is officially underway, and we’re excited!
Now is a great time to get ready for nesting birds, so here are three to-do’s to get you primed for the season:
1) Clean out your nest boxes. Add fresh wood chips if needed for species that don’t make their own nest.
2) Download our mobile app. Use your device’s GPS to map any new nest boxes in advance.
3) Sign in (or sign up) at NestWatch.org and make sure your data from last year are finalized. If you’re new, start by reading our protocol and getting certified.
A new study based on Ohio’s Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows sheds light on how future climate scenarios might impact nesting birds. The study was recently published in the journal American Midland Naturalist and included 4,417 NestWatch records. Distilling 16 years of first-egg dates, the research examines how the timing of egg-laying overlaps with insect pest emergence in Ohio, and how cavity-nesting birds might help benefit farmers in Ohio.
As always, we thank NestWatchers for making studies like this possible. Read more about the study on our blog.