3) Check on nest boxes.
Eastern Bluebirds have already been nest building in a few blocks, and Tree Swallows shouldn’t be too far behind. I also saw a report of an active Wood Duck box this past week so watch for them coming and going to boxes. Don’t forget that all species count, even House Sparrows taking over boxes should be reported.
I picked up a couple new confirmed breeders today:
The Herring Gulls in Portland have been pairing up over the past couple weeks and I observed a pair copulating on my apartment building’s roof on Tuesday. But the real excitement came this morning when the pair was gathering nesting material from the side of the street: https://ebird.org/atlasme/view/checklist/S44998117 And during Maine Audubon’s Chapter Congress at Bates I took a quick walk over to “Lake Andrews” where Common Grackles were also gathering nesting material: https://ebird.org/atlasme/view/checklist/S44997016 Both of these birds are ahead of their safe dates but remember that probable and confirmed breeding code supersede safe dates.
And it is good to double-check that your checklists with breeding codes get entered into the Maine Bird Atlas portal. I wrote up some quick instructions on how to change any of your eBird checklists with breeding codes into the atlas portal here: https://ebird.org/atlasme/news/changing-portals.
Good birding and happy atlasing!
Maine Bird Atlas - Outreach Coordinator
Maine Audubon - Staff Naturalist