Thursday, May 29, 2014

Success at Last!

I now have photographic evidence that our efforts to provide nesting sites at Salem Audubon Nature Reserve are a success.  In January I began helping construct artificial cavities in large salvaged oak limbs for nesting sites at the Reserve.  A crew of volunteers worked at the Reserve every Wednesday, and by end of February we had ten limbs finished and planted in the ground. Then the waiting game began.  April and May passed, with only an occasional “looker” spotted at sites #1 and #6, but no one seemed to be setting up house.  Watching a bird house in my own back yard, I have come to realize that chickadees are rather cautious and quick in and out of the box, as I had baby birds before I was even aware a nest had been built. This clued me in to what might be happening at the Reserve, in spite of checking at the nest sites several times a week I just might not have been lucky enough to be there at the right second. Then, yesterday I had a fleeting glance of a bird leaving a nest site, but not a good enough look to even know what kind of a bird, so this morning I went back determined to be able to get a better look and hopefully a photo.  It took almost an hour and a half, but I finally did come up with this photo of a Black-capped Chickadee bringing bugs to the nest site.  For those you might want to check at the Reserve, the nest site with the activity is #4.


  1. Jim, your concept of hallowing out a nesting cavity behind the entry hole seems to be leading to reproductive success. What I like about this particular subsidized housing system is that it is more attractive than a protruding nest box nailed to a tree or post and is a much better replication of nature. Lee