Keeping an eye on the ‘nesting boxes’ at the Pittsfield

bird housebird house

My son, Bill, led the construction and installation of a dozen “nesting boxes” for birds and bats on the east side of the Pittsfield branch last summer as one of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. Library director Josie Parker supported the project as a reflection of the AADL’s commitment to capitalize on environmental operate more in harmony with the ecosystem. I'm keeping an eye on the project now that Bill’s off at college, and with spring coming, I hope other library patrons would post a comment if they see birds (or bats) actually occupying the boxes.


I'll be keeping an eye on the bird houses, too. Today there appears to be no activity. It will be fun to see increases in bird-action as we get closer to Spring!

Earlier today I saw what I think were house sparrows going in and out of two of the bluebird houses, which is part of the plan. The bluebird houses are grouped in three pairs; one of each pair is likely to be occupied by house sparrows, but they are so territorial that they will make sure that no house sparrows move in to the adjacent box, leaving room for bluebirds to move in. We'll keep an eye on it.

There's also a pair of Canada geese using the pond, and at least one red-winged blackbird working in the field.

It's a nice day for birding.

I was at the Pittsfield branch on Saturday morning and it looks like tree swallows are moving in to one of the nesting boxes closest to Oak Valley Dr. According to "A common swallow of marshes and open fields, the Tree Swallow is a ready inhabitant of nest boxes." House sparrows might be using the next box over.

There's also a bird occupying one of the boxes on the tall posts back up against the fence line, but I'm not good enough to identify what it is. It stuck its whole head out the hole, but didn't leave the box while I was there.

And a mated pair of mallards are working the pond.

I'll try to get some pictures next time.

There was a green heron at the western edge of the pond around 6 p.m. on Sunday. "A small, stocky wading bird, the green heron is common in wet spots across much of North America," according to "It can be difficult to see as it stands motionless waiting for small fish to approach within striking range, but it frequently announces its presence by its loud squawking."

And on Saturday, we saw a squirrel climb into one of the boxes back along the tree line.

On Sunday I saw 2 mallards sleeping by the side of the water at Pittsfield. They turned their heads backward to rest on their backs, occassionally adjusting a few feathers while absorbing the beautiful sunshine.

I went out this afternoon and reattached the roof of one of the boxes closest to the tree line, which had fallen off, but it looks like it needs a more stable attachment. Earlier this summer, we saw a squirrel making his way into that box from one of the trees overhead. But they have to live somewhere, I guess.

The "bluebird" boxes all have nesting debris in them, probably from the house sparrows and tree swallows that were using them earlier this year, but I haven't seen any action in them lately.

Four years after installation, today was time for a little stewardship of the nesting boxes. The roof on one of the woodpecker boxes was blown off entirely and both of the wood-duck boxes needed to have their roofs reattached more securely. We saw some typMaintenance on woodpecker house at PittsfieldMaintenance on woodpecker house at Pittsfielde of waterfowl take off from the pond while we were out there.