Since the story about the Port Tobacco River Park Bluebird Trail in the June edition of the Osprey, the tallies for the trail continue to grow.
As of 6/25/2023, there have been 28 Bluebirds fledged and another 14 young and 4 eggs still in the boxes. Three boxes are currently on, and one has completed, their second broods. In addition, at least 3 Tree Swallows have fledged this past week. Photo by Rebecca Turner.
As mentioned above, there was unexpected, but welcome, residents on the Bluebird Trail. Tree Swallows built a nest and laid eggs in one of the boxes. The increase in Bluebird trails nationwide has also helped the Tree Swallow population. The males arrive first early in the season to select a nesting site. Pairs are not lifelong partners; they will select different mates each year. Tree Swallows lay 4-7 eggs that are pale pink to white. The Port Tobacco trail box had at least three eggs that could be counted. The nest cup appears to be a loose version of a Bluebird nest cup with a little extra something. After the eggs are laid, the parents place feathers of other birds gently over the eggs. For this reason, we are not exactly sure of the number of eggs laid. Look closely at the picture to see a second Tree Sparrow flying back to the box. Photo by John Posey.
Members of Southern Maryland Audubon Shelly Posey (left) and Rebecca Turner (right) are monitoring the boxes weekly to assess the health of the hatchlings, remedy problems and track the hatchling development for fledge time. Recently, ants were discovered at several boxes but dealt with quickly. Photo by John Posey.
If you would like to become a monitor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for final tallies to be published at the end of this season.