Adopt a Birdhouse Program

Many of you have seen the floating birdhouses out on the Pond each year. SPWA started this program over a decade ago by enlisting Boy Scouts to build floating birdhouses for their Eagle Projects. Over the years the birdhouses have slowly deteriorated and it is time to repair and rebuild. We invite you to become stewards of this new fleet of birdhouses.

Last year, we were down to seven seaworthy birdhouses and breeding pairs of tree swallows raised a brood in each of them. We think there is a housing shortage. Tree swallows like nesting sites that are on the water away from predators and competing bird species who also nest in tree cavities. Like all swallows, they eat insects, lots of insects, and you probably know which ones we want them to eat.

As the landlord of a floating tree swallow birdhouse, you have some responsibilities. We will deploy them along the shoreline. Each floating birdhouse will be recovered in late August. You can help with this when we retrieve them. You will clean the birdhouse in fall then store it to be floated again in spring. Your most important task is to keep an eye on any birdhouse you can see during the nesting season. Better yet keep a telescope or binoculars handy, a notebook nearby, and if it becomes an active nest, record what you see.

Thank all of you who adopted a birdhouse this year.

April 2024 pictures show the swallows are very interested in the updated birdhouses. In 2023 we put the houses out on the Pond too late for them to be chosen nest sites. We also learned that they should be dark inside. We thought the birds might like them better if they looked more like wood so we painted them to make them darker inside and covered them in burlap to simulate a more arboreal look.

Four swallows investigating a birdhouse.

One decided to have a look in the front door.

The birdhouses are sold out for this year. We will have more in spring of 2025.