Birds Blog

3 Tips for Successful Nest Monitoring

Here are the three most important steps for NestWatch/Nesting monitoring (in no particular order).

Three Steps For Successful Monitoring

Here are the three most important steps for NestWatch/Nesting monitoring (in no particular order).

#1. Respect Wildlife

Harmless Ootheca (Praying Mantis egg casing). Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Monitoring the nesting boxes involves managing (not handling) live wild birds. It is illegal and unethical to disturb the nest or eggs of any native bird species (even those pesky House Wrens) — this includes touching, picking up, or any type of physical handling of the birds.

Never check nesting boxes on cloudy, rainy, stormy, or cold days. Birds will need to feed more and brood for longer periods of time during inclement weather — it is critical to the survival of their brood. Wait for a sunnier and/or warmer day!

#2. Handle With Care and Speed

Tree Swallow Nestlings in a Lush Nest. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

At first, it will take time to get the hang of opening the nesting boxes (and counting, you’re participating in NestWatch), so take your time. Here are some solid tips:

  • Always look up through the opening at inside of the roof to check for wasps.
  • If there are no wasps, give a gentle tap on the PVC cavity so that you can inform a brooding parent that you are there.
  • If there are wasps, move on. Never, ever spray a nesting box with any chemicals!

You should spend less than 30 seconds at each box including any photos your want to snap.

#3. Have Fun

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Tree Swallows Ready to Go! Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

Monitoring nesting boxes is an amazing experience. Fresh air, nature, and wildlife — what could be better? Oh, right. The birds!

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Also read…

Nesting Season Part IV: The Best Nest

It’s a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird, but not for Hawks

Nesting Season Part III: The Right Box for You

5 Birds to Know in the Northeast this Spring

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