It has been quite a while since my last post. I’ve been busy!
I do want to report in I’ve fledged my first brood of the season — bluebirds on Sunday, May 1st! It took them 19 days to fledge from the day of hatching. After I cleaned out the box, I inspected the nest. (I always do this.) Yes, I found blowfly larvae inside this nest–a heavy infestation. I did treat the nest prior to the 4 babies hatching with a few puffs of the organic Diatomaceous Earth, which helped them immensely survive! Since I started treating the nests with this organic DE (starting last year), I’ve never lost a brood to blowfly larvae causing the chicks to become so anemic, they have no strength to even take in food from their parents. Just a few light puffs are all I need to do to each nest. None of it gets close to the babies or their parents because I insert those puffs on the base of the nest by the wood floor and in the center of the nest. I am very careful how I do this, including how quickly I do so as not to worry Mr. and Mrs. Blue too much as they sit in the trees watching me. I first learned of DE from the NABS conference two years ago (thanks, Harry!) during a presentation called, The Fledging Experience. It was excellent! I was relieved then to learn there was a way to deal with the blowfly infestation I was experiencing on my trail.
I’m still going to make hardware cloth “screens” to put in the base of the boxes about one-half inch from the floors and not apply DE to see what happens. I’ve found in my area, blowflies have been a regular pest I need to deal with on the trail for every brood. Safety and Success for the nesting native birds — those are my two main goals as I manage my own bluebird trail. My third goal is to be a mentor in educating others and sharing experiences with other bluebirders…those who are new and those that are veterans. It helps to talk to others of their experiences so we can continue to learn from others.
I’ve been busy “managing” of my two computers. I’ve backed up all my programs and files and did a clean install of a new Operating System on both of them, so my time has been occupied working with software, files, and the new op systems updates….and getting out on the trail, and training and sharing with others in my counties! I should be posting more
within the next two weeks. I have lots of material to share–more photos–more stories. You’ll be hearing from me again very soon. In the meanwhile, do enjoy the birds. They bring us so much fascination, don’t they? It’s never a dull moment learning about the bird world. Are there any times you wish you had wings, too? Wouldn’t it be fun to trade places with a bird for a day?