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Posts Tagged ‘nesting box’

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a colorful Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) building a nest in a nesting box at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The warbler made multiple trips to the nest carrying a variety of materials in its bill. Each time that it got ready to leave the box, the warbler would stick its head out and look around. Although I tried repeatedly to capture the bird in flight as it left the box, the last image was the only one that was partially successful.

I am finally catching up on a backlog of photos—normally I post my photos within a few days of shooting them.

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Usually it’s the female Wood Duck (Aix spionsa) who is most interested in a nesting box, but during a recent trip to Huntley Meadows Park, I spotted a male Wood Duck who also seemed pretty interested. Maybe he had been watching a lot of home improvement television shows and was thinking of the renovations he could do.

Wood Ducks

Of course, the female Wood Duck also had to check out the nesting box. After all, she is the one who has to lay the eggs inside of it. Judging from what I have seen in previous years, she will have sole responsibility for taking care of the little ducklings—the male seems to disappear after they are born.

Wood Ducks

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) have moved into at least some of the nesting boxes at Huntley Meadows Park as they get ready for babies. The accommodations are spacious and comfortable, but the views are undoubtedly much better from high atop the trees.

Strange as it sounds, it is unusual for me to get shots of Tree Swallows in a tree. Normally they are zooming about in the air when I see them and it seems rare for them to stop for a rest. They seem to weigh almost nothing, so they can perch on the flimsiest of branches at the very top of trees. As I learned earlier this week when observing them, however, those perches can become pretty precarious when the wind starts to blow, but that’s a story for another posting.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Why was this wren perching on the nesting box just prior to entering it? It’s not nesting season, is it? Was it seeking shelter on a cool, windy day? Were there insects inside to eat?

As I noted yesterday, bird activity was low on Monday—we didn’t even have any Canada geese or ducks passing through. I initially noticed this small bird, which I think is a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), when it was checking out the underside of this nesting box. The box itself is pretty big and was placed there, I believe, for ducks to use. Eventually the wren perched on the edge of the entrance and peered inside and then looked all around before going inside.

wren_box_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Although I never saw the Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) enter the nesting box, she poked her head inside of it and was checking it out as a prospective home.

box1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Today I got this shot of a Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) gathering materials for a nest. I suspect that the swallow is using the nest that is attached to the metal pole on which it is perched, although I never actually saw the swallow enter the box.

nesting1_blognesting2_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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One of my fellow photographers identified some newly arrived birds as Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and yesterday I spotted them checking out the nesting boxes at my local marsh. I felt like they could have used a real estate agent to point out the advantages of the different styles of houses available. The first one has the charm of a log cabin and the second one has enhanced security features to discourage intruders. I don’t think that the swallows have made their decision yet—for now they seemed to be checking out the neighborhood.

swallow1_blogswallow2_blogswallow3_blogMichael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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