News and Muse from the Bluebird Trail

By Shayne Mitchell

Nest box monitoring began on March 12 and has continued weekly. I found that the first nest of the year was already under construction by March 12 in box WPT5W.  

This is my first year monitoring the trail, so I didn’t know what to expect, and I was very excited to see a nest so soon … and then I waited and waited.  I started to wonder if the birds had either abandoned the nest or met an unpleasant fate.  It would take another month before this nest was completed and eggs were laid by an Eastern bluebird.  The uneven spring weather probably had something to do with this. Even with this long delay, the nestlings fledged around May 18.  

On May 21, I removed the now empty, flattened nest and cleaned up the box to prepare it for another nesting attempt.  By May 28, a new nest had been built. Other Eastern bluebirds started their nests later but took less time to lay eggs.  Some of their young have fledged or should fledge soon.  Tree swallows and house wrens began showing up at the boxes in April and built their first nests toward the end of that month.  Their nestlings should begin fledging by mid-June.  By then many Eastern bluebirds should have started their second nests of the season.  

Note that all nest monitoring is conducted in accordance with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Nestwatch Nest Monitoring Manual.  If you’d like to follow along with our Bluebird Trail Map, please open .  Please submit any comments, questions, or suggestions to

In summary:  as of May 28, I’ve observed 10 tree swallow, 10 Eastern bluebird, and 10 house wren nests, with a combined total of 149 eggs, 55 nestlings, and 8 fledglings.  I’d say that the birds have been busy!  

For more summer birding news, click here to access the Bluebird News and Muse Blog!

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Summer 2024

Volume 42 , Number 2

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