Photo © Keith Williams

December 2020 News

Database Update

Our database was successfully migrated on November 19, 2020. All of your data and login information are unchanged. However, if you encounter any unexpected errors, please send us an email so we can look into it.

Please remember to enter your 2020 data by December 31 for inclusion in our annual report. If you have any inspiring or exciting field stories to share with the community, please email those to us for possible inclusion in our annual report.

Bulk Upload Goes South

We thank the South Carolina Bluebird Society for contributing 1,474 nest records via our bulk upload tool! Southern specialists like the Brown-headed Nuthatch and Carolina Chickadee are represented alongside widespread species such as the Wood Duck and Tufted Titmouse. Way to go South Carolina Bluebird Society!

A New NestWatch Chapter

Our newest NestWatch Chapter is located in South Orange, New Jersey. Welcome South Mountain Conservancy! Coordinator Lori LaBorde says the conservancy has worked with several different people to install nest boxes throughout their 2,110-acre property. They hope to continue to encourage community members and families to participate in their monitoring program and to use NestWatch as a way to keep track of their data. Do you live nearby? Contact Lori and her team to get in on the fun! 

NestWatchers Help Master’s Student

We extend our special thanks to NestWatchers in the Asilomar State Park nest box network who were integral to helping Amanda Preece attain her Master of Science degree. Amanda was a student at California State University, Monterey Bay, and also the coordinator of the Asilomar State Park nest box program. We recently learned of her successful degree completion, with the help of numerous volunteers who collected data and entered it into NestWatch.

Amanda is also the star of a short film created by Steven and Mary Albert for the California State Parks system. The film is a useful introduction to others seeking to start a community-based nest monitoring program on public lands. One success the video highlights is that before Amanda started the nest box program, Western Bluebirds had not nested in Asilomar State Park in over 90 years!

Congratulations, Amanda, on completing your thesis, and thanks to all NestWatchers who participated in this important collaborative project. Her thesis, entitled Associating Landscape Variables with Nesting Occupancy and Success of Songbirds Using Nest Boxes in Semi-urban Greenspaces, is freely available here.

Sensory Pollution Affects Nesting Birds

In a new major study on the effects of noise and light pollution on nesting birds, researchers found a variety of detrimental impacts for reproduction. Data collected by NestWatchers across the country, combined with maps of noise and light pollution, show mixed effects on nesting success, clutch size, hatching failure, and timing of nesting.

In this month’s blog post, we explain some of the key findings of the new study, published in Nature. The results are complicated, and not all species react the same way to anthropogenic disturbances. For instance, birds that nest in the forest react differently to noise than birds that nest in the open. Check out our blog to learn more about this important study, and thank you to every NestWatcher for helping make this massive analysis possible!

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology