We’ve cleaned out the nest boxes for tree swallows in Lost Lagoon and wood ducks in Beaver Lake. Our intrepid volunteers recently waded into the water to set up the boxes near the lake edges where the birds would normally nest in cavities of dead trees.
Every spring, tree swallows migrate from Central America to breed in tree cavities in the north. During the summer, they can often be seen hunting insects over Lost Lagoon so it makes sense that the nest boxes are in a place with such a good source of food. The nest boxes offer the swallows places to raise chicks that are safe from predators. To make them even more secure, SPES installed spikes on the top of each box. This stops the gulls that also live on Lost Lagoon from standing on top of the boxes and grabbing the emerging chicks.
Wood ducks have been known to nest in tree holes around Beaver Lake, so nest boxes sized for these ducks are installed around the lake. In an urban park like Stanley Park, the large rotting trees that naturally suit cavity-nesting wood ducks may pose a falling hazard for park visitors. The nest boxes provide wood duck habitat where suitable natural habitat does not currently survive and are a proven alternative should aging trees be removed for safety reasons.
Nest box installation is part of the HSBC Freshwater Initiatives in Stanley Park project enabling SPES to enhance the Park’s wetlands, lakes, streams and ponds, particularly Beaver Lake, Beaver Creek and Lost Lagoon.
To learn more about Stanley Park’s birds, join SPES’ monthly “Birds of a Feather” Discovery Walks. Visit SPES’ events calendar for more information on these walks.
Funding for this project is provided by HSBC Freshwater Initiatives in Stanley Park.