Nest Box Program
Nestbox Monitoring Season, 2017
Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 7:54pm

 NESTBOX Team Helping Cavity Nesters at HNWR

By Wes Crawford

The Nestbox program is a well-established volunteer activity of the FOH.  This year volunteers monitored 52 nestboxes on Harris Creek, Raasch and Meadow Pond Trails. As of this writing, 209 birds were able to fledge from our safe and monitored nestboxes.  Of the total, 139 were Eastern Bluebirds.

We usually do box repair, relocations and cleaning during the off season from September through February. Towards the end of February, nestbox monitors pair up and select the trails they prefer to monitor for the season.  The monitoring season begins in late February and ends in August. Based on scheduling, each team monitors about one time each month. Monitoring normally occurs on Wednesday or Thursday in the late morning or early afternoon.  We sometimes have to flex our day due to weather or trail conditions.  Monitors carefully open each box and note observations on the Cornell NestWatch data sheet. Some nestboxes have sponsors and a photo is taken.  Monitors will remove nests and clean the box once the chicks have fledged.  We have a volunteer who enters the data into the Cornell database for scientific monitoring and research.  Another volunteer takes the photos and prepares reports to the box sponsors.

There is nothing like the joy in seeing the royal blue male Bluebird on top of the nestbox or the female bravely huddled over her eggs or the site of the fully feathered young waiting for the que to fledge.   We had one monitor this year that was blessed by actually seeing a chick peck out of the egg.  Although our target species is Eastern Bluebirds, other species benefit from use of the nestboxes including: Carolina Wren, Bewicks Wren, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and Prothonotary Warbler.

This year we had 8 monitoring teams, one box sponsor reporter and one NestWatch data entry specialist. We wish to thank our team members for their help:  Dick Malnory, Ken Neuhard, Doug Skjolsvik, Steve Keller, John Brennan, Susan Knowles, Ginger Mynatt, Bert Garcia, Sue Raasch, Don Lawrence, Lydia Brandt, Cathy Van Bebber, Jim Russell, Teresa Crawford, Patricia Crain, Gene and Nancy Cushion.   We also thank our craftsman, Dick Malnory who fabricates any box panels or new boxes as needed.

If you enjoy being outdoors, care about helping wildlife and want to get to see some of the beauty at HNWR, the NESTBOX TEAM is for you. We will kick off our season in Late February with a training session and team pair up.  Join us by contacting us via the FOH website, friendsofhagerman.com/Contact.

Nest Box Trail Reports
Thank You to HNWR Staff!

A BIG part of the Nest Box project success at the Refuge is due to the regular mowing around each of the  boxes, performed by Refuge employees!   THANK YOU!

Adopt a Nest Box

Through the FOH  Adopt a Nest Box Program, boxes have been adopted by individuals, families, school classes and by pets!  Adoption will open December 1, for the 2018 nesting Season, and will close February 1 or as sonn as all available boxes have been adopted.

 Shown below, Booger Biggs on the leash, pays a visit, with his master,  to  his adopted nest box at the Refuge.

 

Friends of Hagerman
6465 Refuge Road
Sherman, TX 75092
(903) 786-2826