Guests continue to play an important role in increasing cavity nesting bird populations on the Reserve by monitoring, repairing and putting up nest boxes. Of the 19 nest boxes that were up at the beginning of the summer, mountain bluebirds used 6, tree swallows used 2, and house wrens used 6 boxes. In addition, within our camp enclosure we had the usual birds including flickers, sapsuckers and bluebirds nesting in dead trees, wrens in a house by the picnic tables, a couple of robins made their nests on the cabins, and one intrepid house wren pair found a tiny knothole in one of the cabins and raised their babes alongside guests (the hole has been plugged and a new wren house set up nearby). We had a surprise in one of our nest boxes on the corrals, when a red squirrel enlarged the entrance hole, filled the nest box with bison wool, and raised her 4 baby squirrels there. Very fun to watch! Bison wool continues to be a common nest material in most of the nest boxes, as well as in tree nests of vireos and ruby-crowned kinglets, and even in deer mice nests. Guests in August helped us put up larger nest boxes for saw-whet owls and kestrels, so we’re already excited about next year!
2010 Bison Quest Bird House Report September 18, 2010