Top 10 United States nesting birds

24 August 2011.

In the USA, NestWatch is a bird nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

This video is called Brief, step by step overview of the NestWatch Instructions.

According to the NestWatch newsletter, the top 10 of nesting bird species this year as of 15 August is:

1. Eastern bluebird

2. Tree swallow

3. House wren

4. Carolina chickadee

5. Mountain bluebird

6. House sparrow [see also here]

7. Black-capped chickadee

8. Western bluebird

9. American robin

10. Purple martin

Back in 1890 a few well-intentioned bird-lovers decided to release a hundred European Starlings in New York’s Central Park. The birds adapted easily to their surroundings and soon spread to cities across the Northeast. As a consequence, though, many native Eastern Bluebirds lost their homes: here.

September 2011: The importance of gardens for the declining house sparrow has been underlined by new research. By looking at the location of house sparrow colonies in towns and cities across Britain, BTO researchers have discovered that houses with gardens are preferred over other forms of urban green space. This knowledge can be used to help urban planners in the decision-making process and gives hope that house sparrow decline can be reversed: here.

July 2012. With its cheeky nature and chirpy, chattering song, the starling is one of our most recognisable birds, but figures show that 40 million starlings have disappeared from the European Union, including the UK, since 1980. This crash is triggering concern about the bird’s future status as a widespread and familiar bird: here.

5 thoughts on “Top 10 United States nesting birds

  1. Pingback: United States birds at risk | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Rare Bluebird Twins Spark Interest

    Eastern Bluebird clutch containing a double egg

    Earlier this month, we received a report of an anomaly in an Eastern Bluebird nest in State College, Pennsylvania. The nest contained three normal-sized eggs and one large egg. The large egg contained two fertilized embryos, or twins! The four eggs hatched on July 1, resulting in five nestlings. The twins did not grow as quickly as their three siblings and were always noticeably smaller. Unfortunately, these 2 smaller nestlings died after 11 days, perhaps because the adult male bluebird went missing at some point. The female likely had a hard time feeding all five babies on her own, and the two smaller nestlings may not have been able to obtain as much food as their larger siblings. The three surviving nestlings are doing well at the time of this writing.

    Twinning has been observed in other species of wild birds, including American Goldfinch, Peregrine Falcon, Gadwall, Mallard, and Song Sparrow, as well as in domestic chickens. Opportunities to observe this rare occurrence outside of a laboratory are scarce because double-embryo eggs are rare to begin with–fewer than half of one percent of waterfowl eggs in one study contained twins. It is even rarer for both chicks to survive hatching. Typically, before hatching, one embryo may out-compete the other, or both embryos may die due to insufficient oxygen and/or space. A large study of 208 double-yolked chicken eggs only resulted in 1 egg that hatched into twin chicks. Twin chicks apparently have a very difficult time pipping the eggshell.

    Twins can form from eggs with double yolks (i.e., fraternal twins), or from eggs with one yolk and two embryos (i.e., identical twins). We don’t know which was the case for these bluebird twins, but we do know that for them to have hatched and lived for 11 days is a very rare phenomenon, indeed! We thank Gerald Clark, owner of the nest box in question, and NestWatcher Harry Schmeider for bringing this to our attention so that we can all learn from this unique experience. For further reading about twinning in wild birds, see ornithologist Laura Erickson’s blog post, Twins and Double Yolks in Bird Eggs.


  3. Pingback: North American bird species nesting season animations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Birds nesting in the USA, report on 2013 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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