Eastern Phoebe nest with two Brown-headed Cowbird eggs. Cowbird eggs were subsequently removed by an unknown passer-by. . .
Tree Swallows will nest in nestboxes but prefer old snags in wetlands for nesting cavities. Hubbardston, 5/19
. . .resulting in the likelihood that all four of these phoebe nestlings (5/18) will survive.
Great Blue Herons require dead snags in wetlands for their nests. They usually nest in colonies, but a single nest was found in a small beaver pond in Hardwick on 5/24.
This is what a Bobolink nest looks like! The female is building a nest in the grass close to the ground. This could explain the general public's tolerance for mowing of these fields in June, which destroys nest and young. Out of sight, out of mind. Hubbardston, 5/24
Male Bobolinks conspicuously sing and display--as well as mate with more than one female--while females build nests and incubate young within the "protective" tall grasses. If these nests and baby birds were more visible, many people would likely be distressed to see the destruction of the nests when fields are mowed while baby birds are in the nest. Mowing after the second week in July results in hay quality suitable for some agricultural uses and ensures the survival of most, if not all, of the young.
Wild Turkey nest with 13 eggs. Hardwick, 5/24. Often hatched in wooded areas, turkey poults are brought by the hens into and close to dense grassy areas for protective cover when they are first hatched (brood rearing period), another good reason to delay hayfield mowing.
House Wrens select nestboxes that are close to protective undergrowth and shrubbery. They are intolerant of other nestbox users nearby and will fill boxes in their territory with small twigs to discourage use.
House Wrens may also destroy eggs and nestlings of nearby nestbox-users such as Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds. Be careful with nestbox placement/habitat and allow plenty of territorial space if you attract wrens. Enjoy the wrens! They are excellent insect predators and occupy a niche in the ecology of your yard and property.