On November 11th several volunteers and some of the OYBC members (Trevor, Isabella, Joey and Stephen) came to the Hoover Reservoir Nature Preserve to help Charlie Bombaci. Charlie has managed a trail of bird houses used by the Prothonotary Warblers for many years. Our task for the day was to set up 50 bird houses made by the OYBC in October. The bird houses were intended to replace those damaged by storms in late June.
With Charlie leading the way, we followed him into the woods of Area N. Following Charlie was a lot harder than I thought. It would have been hard even without carrying several bird houses. Just when I was catching up, Charlie would stop and point out 3 or 4 trees to hang the houses on. The bird houses were clustered to help with the competition for bird boxes by tree swallows and wrens.
Because of the birds nesting habits we would hang the bird houses about 4 or 5 feet above the high water mark. Charlie clustered the bird houses along the creek and by places where there was a vernal pool. If the tree was living we would nail the top and tie a metal wire around the bottom. It was much easier if the trees were dead because then we could just nail the top and bottom. After we hung the bird houses up we would spray paint the box brown. Later they will be stenciled yellow marking the area and the house number for the nesting survey.
While half of the group ate lunch at the Galena Diner, OYBC advisor Darlene SIllick led the other half to put boxes up at Dustin Road. After spending another hour or so hanging bird boxes and the day was over. At the end of the day we all looked like cacti from the waist down due to the large amounts of tick weed. On the other hand we did get to see a Bald Eagle, a Red-Headed Woodpecker and a Belted Kingfisher so it balanced out pretty nicely.
You can see photos from this project here.
Stephen Bischoff is a member of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Young Birders Club.