Last year was a good year for our nest boxes. Two hundred and twenty-two (222!) Bluebirds fledged out of the 169 nest boxes monitored on NLT preserves. Tree Swallows like the same habitat of open meadows. Last year, 212 Tree Swallows fledged out of our boxes. Boxes near the edges of meadows often attract House Wrens and Chickadees. There were 171 wrens and 41 Chickadees that fledged out of boxes. (Photo by Carole Mebus.)
This is only a portion of the nest boxes on NLT preserves. We have hundreds of boxes, but not all of them get monitored during nesting season. Many preserve managers are looking for a volunteer to monitor their nest boxes. The opportunity is available from early spring to mid-summer, and boxes need to be checked every 7 - 10 days. It takes me about 1.5 hours to monitor 25 boxes. So, if your favorite Natural Lands Trust preserve has nest boxes, you might ask the Preserve Manager if they are looking for a volunteer. It is important that we are providing nesting habitat for cavity nesting birds, but we can do that job better if we know how many birds successfully fledge from of our nest boxes.