FIRST LAID EGGS ON THE TRAIL – 2011


Here is a photo of my first laid eggs on the trail.  First egg laid was March 27th, 2011.   After I took this photo, I looked closely at the long “hair” on top of the nest.  So, take a good look yourself.  What does it look like to you in the photo (below)?  I realized right away I needed to return to double-check that is NOT monofilament line accidentally picked up with some of the grasses from our lady nest builder.   However, I could not return the next day due to the cold rainy weather.  It was a bit excruciating for me just wondering what it was.  That monofilament could tangle up her legs and cause injury; and if left there for the hatchlings, it could strangle them to death.  This concerned me greatly.  Upon my return and a closer look two days later, there were several long HUMAN hairs on the nest; frankly, they looked like mine!   I’ve had bluebirds in past use some of my chocolate Tibetan Terrier’s long hairs when I had groomed her.  I would save the hairs pulled out on the grooming brush for the birds.  I found some of her chocolate long hair and some undercoat of hers, a lighter mocha color, mixed in the nesting material in one of my nests in 2008.  Mostly, the bluebirds in my area either use all grasses or all pine needles.   To theorize my own hair was picked up (I had to ask myself:  would she see it and pick up the hairs purposely?) or were the hairs just entwined already in the grasses she used?  We may never know.  It may not be my hair, but it’s very likely it is.  I studied it closely.  It looks like my hair!

Additional note on laid eggs this Spring: Two neighboring counties to mine have had first eggs laid March 21 and March 22.   That is really early. The warmer weather this Spring may have started the bluebirds in nest building, mating, and laying.  However, some cold, rainy weather moved in as you’d expect in early Spring, and I’ve seen them delay or interrupt nest building and egg laying.   I will be back on my trail early this coming week to see what’s happening in my other boxes.  I have nests in most boxes–a few are Carolina Chickadee nests, which are mostly mosses.  The past two years, I had no chickadees in my boxes.   I expect to find completed nests and some eggs.

First 3 eggs on the Woolwine House Bluebird Trail. See the large light-colored, almost clear-looking long hair on top of the eggs? I'm happy to report it is not monofilament line--it is human hair, possibly mine.

2 comments on “FIRST LAID EGGS ON THE TRAIL – 2011

  1. Christine,
    Would recommend that you remove the human hair just as you would do with monofilament line.

    Several years ago, birds picked up hair and built it into a nest on my trail (I hadn’t noticed at the time nor would I have been concerned as a new monitor). When visiting the nest close to the fledge, parents were nearby but chicks weren’t at the holes. This continued (delayed fledge) until I knew there was a problem. Yes, hair was hopelessly entwined around the chicks’ ankles and they were all caught together. Most had already died and there was still a live chick tied to its dead siblings. I freed the only surviving chick but it lost the use of its foot.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing that experience with me. I had no idea a human hair could be that risky in a nest. Imagine all the human OR animal hairs (such as horse hair) out there that birds may pick up. I am visiting my trail shortly and will attempt to remove that hair (or hairs) I may see. I am pretty sure the female is incubating now. It’s not worth the risk of leaving even a long human hair on a nest that can hurt the nestlings. This is what monitoring is all about and why learning from our fellow bluebirders is beneficial.

      Like

Thanks for your comment. Since I review and approve all public comments before publishing, give me a few days to respond to your comments and inquiries. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s