County Coordinator Notes

  

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CURRENT COORDINATOR NOTES

Houston & Fillmore Counties – September 23

The 2021 bluebird season was a tough one for many of the local bluebirders in the Rushford area. As I contact them to get their season results many are reporting never even seeing a bluebird this summer.
 
Last year our county fledged over 1000 bluebirds. We will be no where close to that number this year. After a slow start my trail was better than I expected.  30 of my 34 sights produced at least one brood. However, with the late arrival of a number of the pairs quite a few of the boxes only had one brood.
 
Generally I have 5 or 6 boxes that have one brood, this year I had 12. Most bluebirders I have talked to report a drop in production around 50% from their 2020 numbers. Let’s hope for a more birds retuning to our trails in 2022. The 2021 bluebird season was a tough one for many of the local bluebirders in the Rushford area. As I contact them to get their season results many are reporting never even seeing a bluebird this summer.
 
Mike Jeresek
Fillmore and Houston County Coordinator 
 

Anoka County

August 29, 2021: Just finished my report for 39 houses in the City of Anoka. We are down 71% fledged from last year (43 versus 149).  Swallows and chickadees took advantage of less competition utilizing 78% of our houses. 

May 20, 2021: 6 of 39 houses had bluebird nests with 25 eggs… 5 babes dead (too cold?) and then 20 eggs. Interesting to note is 20 boxes with chickadee nests and 13 with tree swallows… very unusual.

May 20, 2020: 19 of 39 houses had bluebird nests with 62 eggs and 16 babes for a total of 78 bluebird possibilities.

– Jeanne Wilkinson, Anoka

Northern Dakota  County – August 30

Thanks to everyone who helped out this year with the bluebird monitoring!  Only three of you actually got to see some bluebird babies this year at DCTC, Meadows and at Diamond Path.  The rest of our parks were a BB bust.  However, we had plenty of lovely little chickadees take up residence in our boxes.  I even got to see some chickadee babies that were probably only a few hours’ old, which was really something.  Of course, I forgot to bring my phone to take a pic!
 
A big surprise for me was to see a brood of 3 BB babies in an abandoned chickadee nest at Diamond Path Park.  Sadly, only one of the babies fledged.  I wonder if the nest material had anything to do with that.  
 
MN BBRP logo
Gilbertson nest box
The most resilient BB pair was located at DCTC.  Not only did their babies survive being moved by a work crew who were installing a new softball field, the pair stuck around and produced another brood of babies for us in late July after we moved the empty box to a safer and quieter spot a bit further away.  Many thanks to Pete Hoffman for being such a dedicated monitor for this pair!  Without his quick thinking and steadfastness in June, the original brood of babies probably wouldn’t have made it.
 
I’m in the process of cleaning and taping up the boxes for the winter.  I learned the hard way that if I leave the lids closed, mice will nest over winter.  I have never smelled anything worse than an abandoned mouse nest in the spring!
 
Nancy Engel  – Rosemount trail’s leader 
 

Pine County – July 12

This morning’s trail check results are: 23 eggs, 9 chicks, 5 fledged chicks
 
The Lost Creek trail has fledged 5 chicks, and 2 boxes have second broods of 3 and 4 eggs respectively.

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Bluebird nest with swallow feathers.

This nest was started by and has been occupied by a bluebird, observed the last 4 box checks. Did the female add the feathers as a deterrent to swallows moving in, or did a swallow try to move in by adding the feathers. πŸ€” Either way, the bluebird has won out so far. 4 blue eggs.🀞
This box is next to the box where I found a dead female in the box (4 chicks had fledged from there the week before). A dead male was found on the ground about 50 feet away. 
Another pair of boxes in the same vicinity also had a dead female in the box of 1 of the 2.
 
20 of my 37 boxes are in pairs. Maybe I should split some of those up. Any thoughts on pairs vs single boxes?
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The second pic is a swallow that first laid eggs on the bare floor of the nest box. Looks like she’s added some feathers. Better than nothing, I guess. 
Jean Olsen 
 

Ramsey & Washington County – June 2
Here is a link to a blog post George Brown helped the White Bear Lake All Seasons Wild Bird Stores create to highlight bluebird trail monitoring this past week. Nice job George! 

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Hennepin County- May 29, July 6 & July 18

In spite of a slow start, I now have 5 nesting pair of EB at Hyland Greens G. C. in 10 boxes.
In the 18 boxes in Bloomington Parks, I had only 2 nesting pair but lost one hen to a Hawk.  She was sitting on 5 eggs.
Jack Hauser – July 18
 
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Angela Grill, the supervisor of the bluebird monitors at Three Rivers Parks reports their numbers are way down. She estimates that they may only have about 100 bluebirds this year total. They usually have around 700. That kind of says it all.
 
A real interesting happening this year is two bluebird boxes were stained purple from mulberries, indicating that bluebirds were feeding their chicks mulberries. I’ve seen that often with tree swallows. They leave the boxes a purple mess. But I hadn’t seen that with blue birds before.
 
Also had a clutch of white eggs this year. I also had a clutch of blue eggs that were so light blue, they were almost white. Both clutches hatched and fledged chicks 100%. Stephanie MacPhail and Carol Cummins also had clutches of white eggs last year. I wonder if it is becoming more common.
Lisa McIntire – July 6

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I have 32 pairs of boxes on Braemar Golf Course this year.  

Bluebirds:  5 nests…4 eggs…9 young…and 9 fledged…as of this morning.

Last year I had 30 pairs of nest boxes.
Bluebirds:  15 nests…7 eggs…53 young…on the same day.
Had 6 chickadee nests at this time last year, 10 this year.
Had 12 tree swallow nests at this time last year, 18 this year.
 
I help with a trail in Ogilvie that has 12 pairs of boxes…they haven’t seen a bluebird as of a few days ago. I help with a trail in Medina that has 13 pairs of boxes…one nest so far, while last year 10 sites had at least one nesting.

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Nest in a new Gilwood box on the former Fred Richards golf course, Edina.  I had a pair that laid white eggs two years in a row in the same nest box at Braemar.  This location is 2 miles east.
Bob Hursh – May 29
 

Le Sueur County – May 27
I have 8 active nests in 50 locations. So it is not fun checking empty houses.                    Ben Bartusek