In June we uploaded 321 nest records provided by Kerry Kenwood of the Vancouver Avian Research Centre. The Centre collects data on more than 400 nest boxes which are home to species such as Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Mountain and Black-capped Chickadees, House Wrens, and Tree Swallows. To learn more about the research goals and citizen science efforts under way, visit their nest box program page. Thank you Kerry for contributing this valuable dataset!
As we work through digitizing our collection of historic nesting data, we continue to uncover remarkable people who contributed to the collection and inspire us with the volume of their scientific output. Nest Quest Go!’s science writer Jewel Alston brings us the story of Mary Geis, a 95-year-old biologist who spent nearly 30 years gathering data from a bluebird trail in Bozeman, Montana. Geis collected data on ~1,500 Mountain Bluebird nests in her heyday, and she created such a strong legacy that the trail is still in operation and—remarkably—still being reported to NestWatch. You won’t want to miss this incredible life story of a woman with ambition and foresight who is responsible for a 50-year dataset on Mountain Bluebirds.
We have just released another NestWatch mobile app update that is available on iOS and Google Play markets. This update is distinct from last month’s update and includes bug fixes, the ability to sort nests alphabetically, and an improved experience for offline mode (i.e., using the app when cellular and Wi-Fi data are not available). Download the update today for best performance!
Predator guards are a great addition to nest boxes and can help reduce the chances that your nest box will be accessed by mammals, snakes, and other predators. However, most predator guards that prevent climbing predators are built for nest boxes that are mounted on poles. In this month’s blog post, we discuss new research supporting the effectiveness of a simple DIY predator guard meant to deter snakes from tree-mounted boxes.