Photo © Keith Williams

August 2019 News


Pairing Boxes for Small Birds

Pairing nest boxes (installing two nest boxes close to one another) can help alleviate competition for nest boxes by large birds such as bluebirds and swallows. Our latest blog post explores the concept of pairing nest boxes, and how current techniques practiced by many trail managers may not accommodate small cavity-nesters such as chickadees and Brown-headed Nuthatches.

In a guest post written by researcher Dr. Mark Stanback, we’ll explore how to benefit the small birds in your community that may be in need. Read the full post here.


New Lucy’s Warbler Nest Box Plan

In collaboration with Tucson Audubon, we have updated the Lucy’s Warbler nest box plan on our website to better reflect boxes chosen by Lucy’s Warblers in Arizona field tests. We have also removed Lucy’s Warbler from our standard “small songbird” box plan. The new plan is a species-specific design that is best suited for these small desert-dwelling warblers.

If you live in the Lucy’s Warbler breeding range, download the plan and add a nest box to your property. We invite you to report any success or failure to NestWatch. This species is a relative newcomer to nest boxes, and we still have much to learn about how they fare in human-altered environments. Learn more about Tucson Audubon’s efforts to help the species here.


What’s Past is Prologue

Last month we announced the launch of our new Nest Quest Go! initiative to digitize our historic paper data collection. We are so thrilled to report that our first two species, American Kestrels and Prothonotary Warblers, are now done! That’s 2,438 historic records now available for scientists.

Next up we are featuring Western Bluebirds and chickadees, so if you didn’t get a chance to try nest questing yet, why not try it out today?


Big Data from the SCBS

This month we bulk-uploaded a whopping 5,864 nest records contributed by the South Carolina Bluebird Society. The data set spanned 6 years (2013-2018) and included 11 species. From Brown-headed Nuthatches to Eastern Bluebirds to Wood Ducks, this massive collection will certainly enrich our database for the state of South Carolina. We are especially grateful to Glen Hendry for shepherding the data set through the upload process, and for everyone who has submitted data to SCBS individually.