This summer has been a blur.
I really can’t believe it’s June. Let alone the middle of June. One of my techs is done working for me in the beginning of July, and it hit me today that that’s only two weeks away. It blows my mind.
However, this summer has certainly been a good blur. I spent part of the month of March putting out nest boxes and speakers to play noise at them. In a way, putting 80 nest boxes out at a site hoping to get some birds was a big risk. I didn’t know how many birds might be out there, whether they already had nesting sites that they’d go back to rather than settling in my boxes, or whether I had chosen good box locations. I was wracked with anxiety as April approached. What if I didn’t get any birds? The study would be bust, which would make it rather difficult to write a thesis.
Then in mid-April, the boxes started to fill. It started as a few pieces of grass placed on the box floor. Then it turned into a cozy little cup. Finally, on Easter Sunday, I found my first perfect blue egg. I don’t think there’s a better Easter egg in existence.
Once I had around 15 bluebird nests in various stages of nesting, the tree swallows began to arrive, winging back from their winter homes far to the south. Soon I had nearly 20 bustling nests, all laying and hatching and fledging in such quick succession that it was difficult to keep up with it all. I’m now on the tail end of that wave, putting in cameras for observations on older chicks and taking blood samples before they leave the nest for good.
Things are moving along, and before I know it they’ll be gone again, ready for the winter or the long journey south. I’ll still be analyzing their behavior in videos and measurements long after their chicks are grown. For now, there’s nothing better than waking up to go out into the morning sun to see how all my feathered friends are doing and watching their babies grow.