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This year the nesting boxes were put up by Vince Falcione and Elizabeth Wylde on March 31, a cold, rainy, sleety day - but with the promise of warmer weather (and the return of tree swallows) in the near future. The boxes had been washed out when they were taken down last August. Earlier in March, volunteer Squizzle Plekavich applied a weather-protective coat of linseed oil to the outside of each box, and Ranger Jean Rogers attached new, easy-to-read numbers. Boxes are located in the same locations as last year except Box #2, which was relocated from the lawn on the top of Kingsley Park to the cattail swamp at the north end of Little Fresh Pond. Upcoming restoration work at Kingsley Park will make the original site unsuitable this year.
Chickadee Box "C" was put up in the woods between Black's Nook and the Perimeter Road. The box had been taken down from that location for repairs in late winter, after the threaded tip of the support pipe rusted away.
The 15 tree swallow boxes were taken down by Vince and Elizabeth on October 27. All except one contained tree swallow nests, and the one exception contained only a small amount of debris. Nine of the other 14 boxes contained nests that appeared to have been used to raise young, that is to say, they contained droppings from young birds. Unlike most birds, tree swallows do not carry away the feces of their babies. At least four of the boxes were very dirty, suggesting that more youngsters were fledged from them: perhaps as many as 4 to 6.
success rate is about average for the Reservation: We usually find a
few unsuccessful nests and an occasional dead bird.
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