July 18, 2014 update: The Berry bluebirds have produced a third clutch of eggs! The first clutch produced one chick from four eggs and the second clutch produced four chicks from five eggs. We now have four eggs in the nest with an incubation period of approximately 13 days. It is not unusual for bluebirds in the southern states to produce up to three clutches during the warm summer months.
June 20, 2014 update: We have four growing baby bluebirds and one unhatched egg. Dr. Carleton will remove the egg next week when she bands the baby bluebirds.
May 28, 2014 Update: Bluebirds are once again nesting in our bluebird box. We expect to see eggs at any time. We hope that more eggs will be viable during this time.
The Berry College Bluebird Cam is a Hawk Eye Night Owl nest box camera that became operational April 9, 2014. The camera feed looks black and white because it is dark inside the box and it is using the infrared light. This camera is connected to a desk top computer through a Diamond VC500 video capture device, this is what we use for the stream. It can also be connected to any video monitor with composite inputs.
The clutch is now complete with four eggs which is fairly typical for the bluebirds on campus. Incubation lasts approximately 12 days and all eggs should hatch at about the same time. Hatch watch begins May 1st!
Associate Biology Professor Renee' Carleton’s Bluebird Project began early in 2002 when she found that despite hundreds of acres of prime bluebird habitat at Berry College, there were fewer than 10 nesting pairs on the Main Campus. Student volunteers helped place 50 nest boxes in hay fields and pastures and by the end of the 2003 breeding season 34 pairs had taken up residence.
To date, Dr. Carleton has banded well over 1,200 bluebirds on campus and reports that the population is doing great. In addition to monitoring their long term survival and reproductive success, she and her students have conducted extensive research on bluebird parasites, which resulted in the discovery of a feather mite previously unknown to science, a number of papers published in scientific journals, and presentations at national and regional conferences. Current work includes examining the effects of drought and climate change on eastern bluebird populations across the U.S. and Canada.