We always look forward to the annual report sent by Sheryl Gracewski on our bluebird project. She and her team of volunteers do this vital work every year.
"We didn't check the boxes as often this year as we did in past years, so the numbers are more approximate. There were 5-6 successful bluebird broods nesting in our 13 boxes, each yielding 3-5 fledglings. This is the average over the last 14 years and similar to last year, but only half of the peak of 10. We had approximately 2 successful chickadee broods and 4 successful house wren broods, both down slightly from last year.
We are delighted that a flying squirrel is continuing to use one of our boxes for nesting. There were 2 flying squirrels in the box in October, so we didn't clean out the box when we winterized all of the other boxes.
We didn't see any activity at the old red-tailed hawk nest this year, but we did find a new red- tailed hawk nest in the southeast corner of the cemetery. We enjoyed great views of the newly fledged young hawks in the spring.
This is the first year of the 2020-2024 New York Breeding Bird Atlas, so we entered all the breeding behaviors we witnessed in the Mt. Hope Cemetery into the atlas portal. Unfortunately, both longitude and latitude block boundaries pass through the region of the cemetery containing our bluebird boxes, so we had to enter data for 4 different blocks. We hope to determine whether screech owls are using any of the owl boxes that were erected in the cemetery, so that we can enter owl data into the Breeding Bird Atlas. However, first we need to locate the boxes. We have found a few, but if you know the locations of any of the boxes, please pass this data on to us. "