Photo © Keith Williams

July 2019 News


A New Way to Participate!

We’re excited to offer you a new way to participate that doesn’t involve finding nests outside, identifying mystery birds, or any scheduled time commitments. You can participate as often as you like without ever leaving your home. In fact, this new project is perfect for beginners who have never found a nest or who have limited options for monitoring nests outside.

Introducing Nest Quest Go!, our online crowdsourcing project for capturing historic nesting data. Did you know that generations of citizen scientists diligently collected nesting data on paper forms and submitted them to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology from 1965 until the early 2000s? These data were frequently used for decades, but their paper format is a serious barrier to their widespread use today. Nest Quest Go! is a project designed to bring them back to life, freely share them with the world, and preserve them for posterity.

Simply log on and create an account to start transcribing these historic records. We’re starting with the lovely golden Prothonotary Warblers, but we’ll be adding more species all the time. Sign up to receive regular project updates here, and join the Facebook group for participants for more contact with other questers. We hope you find it as addictive as we do!


Mite Want to Read This

Our new blog post on The Life and Times of Mites is a fascinating look into the minuscule world of mites. People often ask us about how nest mites affect birds and what, if anything, they should do about them. 

For organisms such as mites, a nest can be an all-encompassing habitat, containing food and shelter. And while many of us may shun the tiny creatures, it’s important to learn about the ecology of nests and the role of these beings in nature. As is often the case, birds are adapted to dealing with parasites, and may not need our help at all.

Read on to discover what these 8-legged critters are up to, and what ecologists have discovered about them through the years.


Welcoming A New Chapter

A hearty welcome to our newest chapter in Pennsylvania, the Hershey’s Mill Nest Box Monitors. This chapter is co-led by Eileen Rackover and Dr. Wilbur Amand. Located just outside of Philadelphia, Hershey’s Mill is a large community for active adults and is a designated Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

Eileen and Wilbur will be overseeing 20 volunteers as they continue monitoring the 80 nest boxes on the property. They are pleased to be able to make their data available to researchers at Cornell and elsewhere. 

Do you belong to a group of nest monitors? Ask about joining our NestWatch Chapters program today.


Whooo’s Out There?

Ralph Gabellieri of North Carolina submitted this trail camera photo of a Barred Owl perched on an occupied nest box. Ralph reports that this was the second visit the owl made to the nest box, and that an Eastern Bluebird was inside incubating her eggs both times. What an amazing capture, and a good reminder that cameras outside of the nest box can be just asĀ informative as those within boxes!