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Neighborhood Nestwatch Data Summary

Nests

Since the inception of Neighborhood Nestwatch in 2000, many nests from 8 different kinds of birds, commonly found in Washington D.C. backyards, have been monitored.

  • Robin

  • Chickadee

  • Carolina Wren

  • Catbird

  • House Wren

  • Cardinal

  • Mockingbird

  • Song Sparrow

Preliminary analyses suggest that cavity-nesting birds, such as chickadees and house wrens, tend to have higher nesting success than open-cup nesting birds. This may be because their nests are predated less often or that they make fewer nesting attempts per season. In addition, it may be that adults don't live very long.

Birds that have a long nesting season, for example robins and cardinals, have fairly low nesting success. They may not "put all their eggs in one basket", so to speak.

Banding

To get an idea of how long backyard birds live, and to see how well individual birds raise young (and who pairs with whom), birds are marked with a unique color combination on their legs. To date, many birds have been banded and resighted in subsequent years.

More about Neighborhood Nestwatch