Monday, August 31, 2015

Photo Gallery: Nests around the Saw-whet MAPS station

As part of the MAPS protocol, we record all of the birds observed during the MAPS sessions and determine the breeding status of these birds around the station.  If the bird is carrying food for example, it suggests that it is feeding young and therefore is breeding in the MAPS area.

Another way to confirm breeding status, is to actually notice their nests.  This is one of my favourite parts of the MAPS program!  We travel the trail to check nets every 20-30 minutes during the morning and make over 10 trips along the same route!  So you start to notice things as you go.

I run a second MAPS station in my yard and on an adjacent Ducks Unlimited property, near Edenwold.  2015 was the 3rd year running this station.  Almost all of the birds that nested here this summer have now departed south and so I thought it was a good time to look back at some of the nests we found within the station in 2015.
Baby Tree Swallows in a nestbox.  There were 8 chicks in this nest!

Here they are a couple weeks later.

This was one of my favourite nests to watch this summer!  A Ruby-throated Hummingbird!  The first time I had ever found one.  Can you see the nest sitting on the horizontal branch in the middle of the photo?

Two little beaks poking out, on the left and one just at the back on the right.  

Getting a little big for that nest!

Baby Barn Swallows.

I was walking along looking at my feet as I walked, when I looked up and a few feet from my face was this female Least Flycatcher staring right back at me!

 This is the same nest once the eggs had hatched.  

The same nest, with an adult tending to the young. 

Here there are a day before they fledged. 

Eastern Phoebes nest in our yard in an old shed but this year their second nest was a reused old nest from the year prior right above our bedroom window.  They refurbished it and raised a second brood! 

Here are the chicks in their lovely soft nest!

Here they are just before they fledged. 

This is a Cedar Waxwing nest.  

One of 6 Purple Martin nests in our two Purple Martin houses.

Here is the perfect nest of a Yellow Warbler.

This Gray Catbird nest was right in the hedge row beside the boys swing set.  She would not move off that nest while we worked around the yard.  They fledged at least 3 chicks.

I guess we have to wait another 9 months before we will see any of these again... I am looking forward to it!

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