I usually am fully prepared when I check the Bluebird nest boxes. I always have my trusty bag of tools, gloves, extendable mirror, a 5×7 piece of clear plastic/glass to prevent nestlings from hopping out, and a pair of pliers. I will also have my note pad to jot down my data. It is recommended that you dress for the weather and the environment. No one wants to schlep through tall grass on a rainy day in a three-piece suit. That stated, on my last check I was not prepared.

My daughter had a piano lesson in the area and I thought that I would quickly check the boxes on our way home. My standard garb for this event is long pants, usually jeans, a t-shirt, and hiking boots. Today I was wearing capris pants and sneakers. To be honest the weather was lovely and this particular site is mostly open, groomed fields.

It is common for us to see toads, garter snakes, rabbits, deer, and of course numerous species of birds. I was walking from box to box with my kids and we came upon a dead Eastern Cotton tail rabbit. It is likely a Red-tailed Hawk killed it, which frequents the area. We have seen dead animals at this site before, so we said our condolences and moved on. What I did not realize was while we focused on the furry bundle, I was walking through the gooey entrails. I determined this when I noticed a repugnant smell that kept following me, only to look down expecting to see dog poop on my shoe. I would have preferred the dog poop.

We finished the nest box checks, walked back to the car and drove home with the windows down. With a little scrubbing and good cleanser, I was able to get the remnants of Bugs Bunny off my shoe. To top things off, I notice several chigger bites on my ankles. I really hate chiggers! So when you go out to your sites and check on those little darlings that huddle in their nests, make sure you wear the proper attire.