Niguel Shores Bluebird Nestbox Project Status 2013-2014
In the spring of 2013 the NSCA Board approved a project to install ten Western Bluebird nestboxes in common area trees. Of the ten installed early that summer, one was chosen as a nesting site by a pair of bluebirds. The female bluebird built a nest in the box and laid five eggs.
As sometimes happens in nature, only three of the eggs were viable. The parents (along with one of their fledglings from their first clutch that spring) dutifully cared for the hatchlings. By the end of July the baby birds fledged from the nest and joined their parents and older sibling in happily roaming Niguel Shores.
Even though the nesting season for 2013 was completed by August, the boxes were left in place for the rest of the year so that the birds would hopefully find them for use the following spring. (The boxes can also serve as a shelter in fall and winter storms for bluebirds and woodpeckers.)
In February of 2014 the nestboxes were cleaned and prepared for a new season of nesting. By late March nest-building had begun in several of the boxes. All ten of the Niguel Shores boxes were monitored throughout the breeding season (March through August). Six of the boxes were used as nests that produced a total of 15 bluebird fledglings.
Now that we have begun a new year, the boxes will soon be cleaned and prepped for the 2015 breeding season. Hopefully you have had a chance to see some of the Niguel Shores bluebirds in your neighborhood. Enjoy!
-Jessina Peterson, Resident on Windjammer Drive