Wilmington, NC, United States
Photos were taken on 5/9/2006, before egg laying began. (I hope this 2006 data can be used and isn’t too old to submit for the current GCF Project.)
The snakeskin was so long that it was coiled around and around the interior of the box. The birds’ comings and goings kept pulling one end of the skin out the entrance hole. (I would poke it back in on occasion in hopes the neighbors wouldn’t get spooked.) 🙂
I do regular, even daily nest checks and keep detailed records dating back to 1996 … this GCF pair began nest building in a Peterson-style nest box 5-6′ off the ground, on 5/4/06. The box’s entrance hole was elongated and oriented toward the south. The snakeskin was added on 5/9/06. The first of five eggs was laid on 5/11/06. Fifth egg was laid on 5/15/06 and they began hatching on 5/30/06. Nest check of 5/30/06 revealed two hatchlings and 3 eggs; the next day there were four young and one egg. By 6/1/06 all five had hatched. All fledged successfully. We were thrilled!
My notes indicate we hosted GCFs in the same box the following year, the 2007 season, but I don’t have any photos and don’t have anything in my notes indicating whether a snakeskin was incorporated into this second nest or not. Nest building began on 4/28/07 with the first egg laid on 5/6/07. Final egg was laid on 5/10/07. All five nestlings fledged on 6/8/07 or 6/9/07.
We’ve had nest boxes up for over 20 years in three different cities/states but these two occasions are the only ones where we attracted GCFs. They were a pleasure! ~LC