[Tweeters] Violet-green Swallow nest box placement

mgd at myuw.net mgd at myuw.net
Fri Mar 13 19:59:10 PDT 2009

I have a swallow box on the SW corner of my house and I figured the birds
must just bake in there on hot days. In 2006 I watched them on webcam and didn't notice any difference in the chick's behavior on hot days vs. cool days.
They didn't use the box last summer and I took the opportunity to place
a remote thermometer in there and to monitor the temperatures readings it
beamed into my house.

Here is an excerpt of the temperatures I recorded on June 28, 2008 (which is when they typically have large young in the nest):

Time Ambient Temp Nestbox Temp

0550 66 66

0705 66 66

1040 71 71

1150 78 77

1405 85 87

1445 85 91

1540 87 97

1630 88 98

1710 88 99

1835 89 92

1935 85 87

2105 83 82

2150 83 80

2350 75 73

The box didn't heat up as much as I thought it would and it certainly cooled down faster than I expected--even a little faster than the ambient air temperature although the difference was minor.

Remember that birds have higher body temperatures than we do--between 104 and 108 degrees F, so can tolerate warmer temperatures.

This doesn't really answer the question about where Josh should place his swallow box but I wanted to add information to the discussion.

Mike Donahue
Beacon Hill in south Seattle

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