Did you ever wonder about the nest boxes on the poles at the park? Well …
The Quail Hollow Ranch Nest Box Project is a group of volunteers associated with the Santa Cruz Bird Club. who maintain and monitor nest boxes at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park. This citizen-science project was started in 2002 to provide habitat for cavity-nesting bird species, particularly the Western Bluebird, as well as Ash-throated Flycatcher, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Violet-green Swallow,and Oak Titmouse. Occasional species are the Bewick’s Wren and House Wren. We report our data each season to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch database. The nest boxes are installed on PVC poles (to discourage climbing predators) and are situated 6-7 feet off the ground. The poles telescope up and down and the boxes are hinged to open so that observers can monitor the progress and timing of nest building, egg laying, hatching and fledging.
In 2020, we reported on 22 nests with a total of 82 successful fledglings, including 21 Chickadees, 34 Swallows, 14 Flycatchers, and 13 Bluebirds.
For more information about the Quail Hollow Nest Box Project, see the May-Aug 2014 article in the Santa Cruz Bird Club Newsletter, the Albatross. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Dan Lazarus, Park Interpreter at Quail Hollow Ranch, at 831-335-9348.