It's been a pretty successful season for bird families so far here in the handful of nestboxes in our yard and surrounding fields. We've got 5 or 6 nestboxes to check regularly. Our first nest of bluebirds, blogged previously, were reared successfully and fledged a few weeks ago. I see the young birds in the yard somewhat infrequently. One family of house sparrows (invasive species) has fledged and a nest of tree swallows is about to graduate from its box, another is about to hatch. I should work up the nerve to remove the house sparrow nests when they're constructed, but I haven't done it this year. An earlier clutch of 7 tree swallow eggs met its demise at the hands, or rather the beak, of a house wren. We seem to have a single male house wren around every summer. This year, as usual, he's built several very nice nests but none have been used.
Last Sunday my nephew Patrick, a young 5-year-old bird enthusiast, visited for an afternoon. Before he came into the house, he had to inspect each and every nestbox in the yard. At each post, his dad got down on all fours and Patrick stood on his back and peaked in the holes. Once he'd seen what he could see, he came in the house and invited the rest of us to come outside for a nestbox tour. Somebody is raising that boy correctly.
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