Birds at Kimberton Hills
Thank you to our guest blogger, our birding volunteer Marilyn Michalski!
Bluebirds and Tree Swallows at Kimberton Hills had an excellent nesting season. By Labor Day all nestlings had flown out of boxes under their own “wing-power.” Our nesting boxes fledged 162 new Eastern Bluebirds and 118 new Tree Swallows. These numbers represent our best results since the start of the “Bluebird Trail” in 2004.
The success of our Bluebirds and other cavity-nesters would not have been possible without the help of many individuals. John Tower and his team made many new nesting boxes, which were installed early this year. John is an essential part of the star performance of this Bluebird Trail, as he both builds and monitors nesting boxes. Another person who contributed to the success of the Bluebird Trail is CVKH supporter Dudley Carl, who monitored ten boxes on a regular basis throughout the nesting season. With his help, our Bluebird Trail fledged more bluebirds and Tree Swallows. We also had assistance from Mimi Coleman and Bill Lewis. Mimi is the Hummingbird facilitator at Kimberton Hills, providing Hummingbirds with sugar water from May through September. Bill gets the credit for saving a family of Carolina Wrens, whose nest was blown down from a rafter after a wind storm. He put the nest in a protected area where the parents could feed their babies. How these nestlings survived their fall onto concrete we don’t know but think the large nest around them cushioned their fall. We are thankful the parents found the new nest location and fed the nestlings until they flew out on their own. Carolina Wrens stay with us all winter – and sing their joyful, rippling song even when the weather is cold. Our newest bluebird hostess is CVKH Board Member Dr. Jean Flood, living nearby, whose box fledged 8 Eastern Bluebirds. We included her bluebirds along with ours in our annual report to the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania.
2015 marks the first time we put up a Purple Martin house. The white gourds you saw in the Eastern fields were our initial location. We will move the gourds next Spring, to entice those flying wonders to our houses. It may take a few years to develop a Purple Martin colony.
We also thank the Dairy team who advised us when cows were not in the fields. John Tower and I will install new and repaired nesting boxes early next year. We will add a few larger boxes for Owls and American Kestrels.
While our Bluebird Trail helps native American birds, it also adds bird-beauty to our lives. We encourage everyone to listen to the songs of birds — their music uplifts the heart and restores happy thoughts.