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First active nest

Toa Kyle | Sep 13, 2006


Good news.  We’ve got our first active nests of the season already.  One is a palm snag I climbed the other day to put in a drain hole.  The nest has an open crown (ie. no roof) and is thus prone to flooding.  Last year we lost at least three nests due to flooding during the incubation stage so this year we’re determined to get drain holes in right away.  To back up these fears it rained three hours after we put the drain hole in!  This particular nest has three eggs in it, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for at least two chicks.  There’s another two nests being guarded in this area (we call it 7 islas for the number of motacu islands found there), so hopefully with more time at least one more will become active.  Logistics will be tricky at 7 islas because there is absolutely no water around.  We’ve stocked up on drinking water and have set up a camp site with a tarp to collect rain water (when and if it comes).  In the meantime everyone smells bad from lack of bathing. 

I finally got rid of the bees from a 2005 nest tree.  We ended up using a pesticide spray to take care of business (the spray is harmless to vertebrates).  It was amazing to see how extensive the hive was.  It extended up the tree cavity for at least a meter (3 feet).  I removed every last bit of it to ensure the queen bee wasn’t hiding anywhere.  We saw a Blue-throat pair perched in the crown of this tree a few days later.  Maybe I’m projecting but I swear they were trying to coax the other one into checking out the cavity first.

Tomorrow I’m rushing into the field to visit another field site that has a nest with at least two chicks in it.  Exciting news as we’ve only had nests with single chicks to work with in previous seasons.  As I said before, this project is all about getting more Blue-throated chicks into the wild.