Tree Swallow perched above box 7 (facing the FAA weather camera). June 18, 2020. Photo by S. England (Ebird.org).
2020 was the 12th year of the Tree Swallow (TRES) nest box project on Middleton. This year again no data could be obtained during the breeding season, but thankfully Martha Hatch (part of the ISRC crew present in September) checked, photographed and cleaned out all nest boxes still present on the island:
Notes on the 2020 breeding season:
- 16 nest boxes were available to the swallows. 4 were either gone or had become unuseable to the birds. 7 boxes currently are in such bad shape that these might not survive the coming winter. This would leave 9 boxes for the next breeding season. This is also the maximum number of occupied nest boxes (9, in 2013). Therefore, for proper continuation of the project, some replacement boxes will have to be installed.
- Instead of wood, nest boxes 18-20 were constructed from PVC planks. These have similar dimensions to the wooden ones, but are white on the inside. Thus far, these have never been used by the swallows.
- As far as potential predators go: a Peregrine Falcon got recorded on June 22, July 21 and July 22 (Ebird.org).