Since 2005 Menunkatuck has be installing and maintaining Tree Swallow nest boxes at Hammonasset Beach State Park. In 2014 we began a similar project at the Guilford Salt Meadow Sanctuary. The nest box design was developed and refined by Conservation Chairman John Picard. Features include a slot opening that allows swallows to enter and excludes European Starlings. (Nest Box Plans)
In March the nest boxes are cleaned and old nesting material removed. As the Tree Swallows take up residence the boxes are checked once or twice a week until eggs are laid. The nest checks are used to determine the number of eggs that have been laid and to estimate a hatch date. After the eggs hatch, nest checks resume and the health of the chicks and nest is noted. If problems such as nest mites arise corrective action like replacing nest material will be taken.
This careful monitoring has led to an increasing number of young Tree Swallows fledging.
Hammonasset Tree Swallow Nest Box Locations
Hammonasset Tree Swallow Nesting Results
In Spring 2014 we installed ten Tree Swallow nest boxes in the Guilford Salt Meadow Sanctuary. Within days, Tree Swallows were claiming the boxes and getting ready for breeding. By May all ten boxes had nesting swallows and nest inspections revealed that there were 61 eggs. Monitoring continued and after a month 42 Tree Swallows fledged. A week later we saw the three of the nest boxes were being used again either for second broods or by other swallows. These birds laid 14 eggs and six young fledged.
For the 2015 breeding season ten more Tree Swallow nest boxes were installed at the Sanctuary.
Guilford Salt Meadow Sanctuary Tree Swallow Nest Box Locations
Guilford Salt Meadow Sanctuary Tree Swallow Nesting Results
In April 2016 we installed eight Tree Swallow nest boxes at the West River Memorial Park in New Haven. Within a few days they were all occupied.