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Nest box monitoring internship. by Jennie Consalvo

May 15, 2023

My internship was completed with Dr. Allyson Jackson, and it consisted of monitoring and taking care of the 34 nest boxes that reside on campus. Each nest box is secured to a metal pole and is about four feet off the ground. The first two weeks of my internship consisted of visiting each nest box, identifying which bird species last occupied it based on nest type, and then cleaning the old nests out. Once the nests- as well as any mouse nests, or small wasp hives- had been removed, the nest box was ready for this season’s birds. After each box had been cleaned, I then spent the next two weeks monitoring the boxes to see if new birds started filling them. It is important to be aware of which species fill the nest boxes as it helps us to better understand the number of different species that are resident on campus, as well as to be able to specifically band any House Sparrows that may make nests. We were looking at House Sparrows specifically to be able to build off existing House Sparrow research that was conducted on campus. This internship is still ongoing, so there are not many nests being built, and there have been no new fledglings just yet. By the end of the summer there will be more concrete results on which bird species make use of the nest boxes.