by , Ranger
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
Stop by and say hello Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dino Trail.

Bluebird Boxes

March 18th, 2010

One of the bluebird boxes donated and installed on 20 February. This one is next to the Ornithopter in Catch the Wind.

We’ve recently acquired five new nest boxes. The boxes are intended for Eastern Bluebirds but I think that Carolina Chickadees, House Wrens, or Tree Swallows (a long shot, but you never know) could use the boxes. I’d be happy with any of the above.

The boxes were donated by Ken Kernodle, Steve McDaniel, and John Boone and installed by them with the help of Anne Baugh, Exhibits Research Specialist here at the Museum.

Four of the boxes are in Catch the Wind and you’ll probably spot them as you meander through that area. It’s a good idea not to approach nest boxes during the breeding season. The birds will be less stressed if not disturbed and the scent from your foot prints leading to the nest box will be a signal to any would-be predator that lunch is ahead. Most wildlife have long ago learned that wherever there are people, there’s sure to be a free meal.

Keep your eye on the nest boxes, however, and let me know what you observe. I’ve already seen Carolina Chickadees going in and out of two of the boxes and a bluebird carrying nesting material, although I didn’t see the bluebird go into one of the boxes with that material.

I’ll update you as the season moves along, please let me know what you observe.

Elsewhere at the Museum, as I came in to work this morning a Brown Thrasher was serenading all who would listen from a lamp post on the right side of the main Museum building. This bird, and another in Catch the Wind, have been singing each morning for the past week or so, but they usually don’t make themselves so obvious as this one was. It’s nice to hear the song each morning as I come in to the Museum.

Also there to greet me was a large group of Cedar Waxwings (about two hundred) in a birch tree just above the hollies that run along the south side of Loblolly Park. The birds are determined to strip the hollies of their berries. After all, it IS late winter; the waxwings descend upon us each year at this time.

And finally, I thought I heard the call of the dastardly and dreaded Brown-headed Cowbird (dreaded by many bird lovers that is, I don’t necessarily dislike or fear them, although it is a bit disheartening to see a warbler feeding one of the twice-the-size offspring of these wandering nest parasites – I mean parasite in a purely scientific way, of course). When I looked up, there were four of them speeding over the parking lot in the direction of Catch the Wind.

More to follow…

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