Three Steps For Successful Monitoring
Here are the three most important steps for NestWatch/Nesting monitoring (in no particular order).
#1. Respect Wildlife
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
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
Monitoring nesting boxes is an amazing experience. Fresh air, nature, and wildlife — what could be better? Oh, right. The birds!
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