On October 17th, 14 members of the Travis Audubon Society showed up at Chaetura Canyon, with their hammers in hand, for a nest box building workshop.  Pre-cut kits and instructions were provided for all attendants.

Participants included a range of ages and skill levels, but everyone who attended successfully completed construction of a cedar nest box suitable for a variety of species. 

Following the construction portion of the workshop, everyone hiked the trails checking the preserve's nestboxes for evidence of use.  One of the first stops was one of the Chimney Swift Towers.  When the bottom of the tower was removed, it was possible to determine the season's activities by examining the residue.  This tower revealed that the resident Chimney Swifts laid five eggs.  Three hatched, but only two of the babies fledged.

In all, 10 nesting structures were checked revealing nests of Carolina Chickadees, Black-crested Titmice, Chimney Swifts and Bewick's Wrens.  Several nests were also found, not in nest boxes, but in the vegetation.  These included a Northern Cardinal nest in a Mountain Laurel, a Western Scrub-Jay nest in the top of a Juniper tree, and a Rufous-crowned Sparrow nest in a clump of Big Muhly grass.    A Carolina Wren nest was also found in an out-building.

Would you like to build a nest box of your own?
Click on the bird house icon for instructions.