• NestWatch

    The Life and Times of Mites

    By Holly Faulkner, NestWatch Project Assistant If you monitor nests, you’re probably pretty familiar with mites. Mites are a diverse group of arthropods in the class Arachnida within the same subclass as ticks (Acari). There are thousands of species of mites that are closely associated with birds, and they have been known to occupy all possible... See More

  • NestWatch

    NestWatcher Finds Rare Albino Nestling

    By Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader. On June 12, 2019, NestWatcher Edie Wieder reported an albino nestling Tree Swallow in a nest box in Needham, Massachusetts. Edie monitors 20 bluebird nest boxes as a volunteer with the Trustees of the Reservation in Massachusetts, and this is her second year participating. Albinism is a genetic mutation that prevents... See More

  • NestWatch

    What’s All The Buzzing About?

    By Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader The young of woodpeckers are notoriously noisy; so much so that you can often find a nest full of young just by following the raucous begging calls to a nearby tree. I have often wondered why this behavior occurs, because if I can find the nest so easily, surely a... See More

  • NestWatch

    The Nests That Weren’t

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader It’s that time of year when NestWatch starts to get numerous daily questions about nesting birds. Most of the time, we can help out and identify the mystery nest so NestWatchers can start monitoring them. Occasionally, though, we get a stumper question, and it turns out to be something other... See More

  • NestWatch

    Buckeye Birds Track Temperature And Precipitation

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader In America’s heartland, farmers rely on birds to help suppress agricultural pests. In fact, it’s why many of them install nest boxes around their farms. If climate change is predictably causing nesting birds to start nesting earlier in the spring as temperatures warm (as several studies suggest), this could mean... See More

  • NestWatch

    Time Traveling House Finches

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader A Clutch of EggsA clutch of five House Finch eggs holds the promise of nestlings.Photo © Angie From the Finch Files In studies of the timing of nesting, it is often the insect-eaters that claim most of the research attention. After all, these birds must time their nesting activities to... See More

  • NestWatch

    Predators Near the Nest: Bluebirds Weigh the Risks

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader Oh, Rats!This rat snake found an Eastern Bluebird nest in Texas. Although named for their propensity to eat rodents, they are agile climbers and will also prey on birds' nests.Photo © Terri Sandvik To Stay or To Go? At NestWatch, we often get questions from participants about what could... See More

  • NestWatch

    On Cowbirds and Changelings: is there more to the lore?

    By Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader Spirited AwayIn medieval European folklore, fairies were said to occasionally kidnap human children and replace them with their own unruly offspring. Human parents were on their guard against such "changelings."Photo © Holly Faulkner In the Realm of Fairies In pre-industrial European folklore, a “changeling” was said to be a fairy child that... See More

  • NestWatch

    Inspection Cams Bring Nests Into View

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader There are many tools that NestWatchers can use to inspect difficult nests: the birdhouse cam, the selfie stick, and the low-tech mirror-on-a-pole. But if you have many boxes, no electricity, and a small budget, the in-box camera may not work for you. And a selfie stick or mirror-pole is no... See More

  • NestWatch

    Sold! Realtors Take On The Owl Housing Market

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader What happens when a husband-and-wife real estate team decides to improve the housing market for their local Barred Owl population? In this case, research, hard work, and patience eventually led to their success! Bryant and Erin Melton of Virginia decided to build a home for Barred Owls after noticing some... See More

  • FeederWatch

    Preventing disease: What’s the best way to clean your bird feeders?

    Yellow-rumped Warblers by Laura Finazzo Feeding birds can be a great source of joy, but feeders can increase the risk of disease transmission in the birds we love if feeders are not cleaned adequately. What’s the best cleaning method to prevent the spread of disease? According to an article published in the March issue of The... See More

  • NestWatch

    New Homes For Birds On The Walnut River

    by Katelyn Shelton (age 14), Ohio Young Birders Club One Chilly Day In MarchWith help from my family and Darlene (Ohio Young Birders Club advisor), we installed a nest box trail in my neighborhood.Photo © Katelyn Shelton Just Passing Through It was a chilly day in March when I and my family, with my good friend... See More