[Tweeters] Edmonds Marsh Nest Boxes Report

Steve Hampton stevechampton at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 13:59:56 PDT 2021

This is good information. While it’s generally best to place nest boxes in afternoon shade, sometimes this is not possible. I’ve seen designs with a double roof— a second larger shade roof an inch above the actual nest box, as well as ventilation holes in the nest box.

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> On Jul 1, 2021, at 1:32 PM, Carol Riddell <cariddellwa at gmail.com> wrote:


> Hi Tweets,


> Stan Kostka and I, with Parks Department permission, installed five nest boxes in Edmonds marsh about 5-6 years ago. Our goal was to induce migrating Tree Swallows to breed at this location. The three farthest out boxes have traditionally hosted Tree Swallow pairs. This year two have had active nests. The box nearest the main viewing platform has always been used by a Violet-green pair. The box near the end of the boardwalk has been claimed by Black-capped Chickadees each year. On Monday morning I saw an adult Tree Swallow poke its head out of one of the boxes and I watched a Violet-green going to its box. I can't think that any hatchlings survived Monday's triple digit temperature.


> I consulted with Chris Anderson at WDFW. He recommend a watch and wait approach. If we see adults carrying food or removing fecal sacs, then there are probably viable swallow chicks. If there is no activity, he recommended that I wait until late August to inspect and clean the boxes, removing any remains that I might find. Per Stan's recent work on his home nest box, I will probably take out a portable drill and enlarge the ventilation holes. I don't think this extreme heat is a one off event, but rather a sign of what is to come with climate change. I did not foresee this problem when we installed the nest boxes. Although there are notable successes in managing (offsetting negative human impact) wildlife, we often unintentionally make mischief.


> At this time I have no information about the Purple Martin colony in the wooden boxes on the Edmonds Olympic Beach pilings. Just hoping that chicks survived the heat.


> Carol Riddell

> Edmonds, WA

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