Whenever NRCM member Leda Beth Gray of Blue Hill, Maine, sends in some My Maine This Week photos, I learn something. Sometimes, it’s a photo of lichen she saw on Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. Other times it is a cool caterpillar she saw close to home.
This week’s photos are of baby birds in various stages in the early part of their lives. Leda Beth shares these photos she took last year at this time and writes, “A big part of our summer is monitoring bluebird and Tree Swallow boxes at Cooper Farm in Sedgwick, part of Downeast Audubon’s ‘Bluebird Trail’ program, which fledges hundreds of chicks each year around Hancock County. Each week we open the sides of the boxes and check to make sure all is okay and also take note of the number of eggs and/or chicks so we can get a tally of how many fledge, and also help the chicks if anything is wrong—which rarely happens.
Sometimes the moms don’t want to leave, so we just let them be and try to get a count the following week. The Tree Swallow mom in this first photo wasn’t completely covering the chicks though because it was warm, and I could count four little faces sticking out of the left side and two little wings sticking out on the right. The second photo shows Tree Swallow chicks getting their feathers— usually they are in a haphazard pile like this but some families seem to be neater and line up in a more organized manner. The third photo is bluebird chicks getting close to fledging, waiting for their next meal to arrive.”
Thank you for sharing your photos, Leda Beth!