Here in mid-coast Maine we have been observing more Eastern Bluebirds each season and 2007 is no exception.
Inland, along many back roads through farming areas, we frequently see bluebirds on fences and power lines. For example, along the 8-mile long Route 213, Bunker Hill Road in Lincoln County, described by Down Eastmagazine as “one of the prettiest roads in Maine,” one may see no less than six bluebird families this year.
With 10 years’ experience, Cornell’s Birdhouse Network reports 60,000 nest attempts for 40 species that use nest boxes. Using more than 20,000 records, researchers found birds initiating later season nesting tended to lay fewer eggs and birds in northern latitudes laid more eggs than in southern areas, with both areas experiencing the same productivity.
Tree swallows were laying their eggs about 9 days earlier, possibly due to climate warming.
Bluebirds had the highest rate of hatching failure in warmer conditions. The Network also suggest other birds are laying their eggs earlier than in recent decades.
Even with pesticide use, nest box success on golf courses is higher than other habitats.
— Birdscope, Spring 2007
Maine is fortunate to have eight bat species, and much of the work of protecting crops, gardens, and backyards can be attributed to the Little Brown and other bats.
Bats are Maine’s greatest resource in controlling insects, since a bat may consume half its weight—or as many as 2,500 insects—in a single night.
They are year-round residents of Maine. Although not active in winter, bats can be found in every Maine town, snugly resting next to a warm chimney, often without the home owner’s knowledge of their presence.
Maine has plenty of flying insects from May through September but there is a housing shortage for bats.
That’s where Mid-Coast Audubon—and you, too—come in. Chapter members produce bat boxes designed for our latitude and made from native white pine at an affordable cost of $15.
We make the boxes—you put them up! Almost everyone has a suitable location for one or more bat boxes. Bat boxes should preferably face west, mounted at least 10 feet above ground and free from obstructions below the box.
Bats forage widely over garden areas, open fields, streams, wetlands, and ponds. All are desirable habitats.
Get a bat box from Mid-Coast Audubon by calling (207) 563-2930 today.
For more information about bats, call John at (207) 563-2930 or Joe at (207) 563-3578 and ask for a copy of Mid-Coast Audubon’s newest publication Maine’s Bats ($5 pp).
Extra energy is found in suet and woodpeckers, chickadee and nuthatches know this and supplement their seed diet with suet.
Mid-Coast Audubon Log Suet feeders are easy to fill with suet and bring birds.
Call John Weinrich at (2087) 563-2093 and arrange to pick up your log suet feeder ($15) today.
Mid-Coast Audubon is now an affiliate member of the North American Bluebird Society (NABS) and membership for Chapter members is $15 when you specify “Special A+ Offer Applies.” Membership brings the quarterlyBluebird magazine, the journal of NABS, filled with information about conservation, research, education and promotes the recovery of bluebirds and other cavity nesting birds. Write: NABS, P.O. Box 45, Miamiville, OH 45147.