More bird stories...
You might remember this post and this post about our Boreal Owl Project. So far, we have no owls nesting in our boxes. I received an email from Randy Lauff the other day, and the overall picture doesn't look good either. The Nova Scotia project has zero nests so far out of a total of about 135 nest boxes. Randy is also mentoring a project in northern Ontario – 200 boxes, one nest. The project in northern Quebec has about 200 boxes, three nests. Here is some info from Randy:
Rodents cycle on average every four years. 2005 was a peak year, ergo, this was supposed to be one, too. Two things could be happening. One, the peak is still coming, nesting is delayed. I have had several nests start in June, so don’t lose hope…please check your nest boxes at least one more time (mid June), but earlier as well if you can. The other possibility is that this is one of those waves in the rodent cycle that is just taking a bit longer…i.e. last year may have been the real trough in the cycle, and we’re on the upswing, not the peak. If that’s true, then maybe we’re just having bad luck, or, nesting is still to come. It could even be that we’re on a very long wave, and that this year is the trough…really bad luck for several of you who have recently come on board.
Not a good time for birds around here! On a happier note, last night at dusk we had four deer running and playing in the field up by our house. The four of them (all females) frolicked across the width of the field and pranced around a bit. Two of them raised up on their hind legs and hit each other...we think they were just playing. Then all four frolicked back across the width of the field. It was great to watch!