Today, I am very grateful to be monitoring the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail. All Hillsborough County Parks are closed because of the Covid-19 virus. Because our bluebird trail is in a county park, I would not be able to continue monitoring the bluebird trail if I hadn't been given special permission be there. So, thank you to the Park personnel who gave me permission to continue monitoring in Flatwoods Park!
Anyway, it is especially nice to be sending you such a good report today! We have a total of 30 nests (23 BB, 6 CC, 1 TM), 36 eggs (25 BB, 7 CC, 4TM), and our first chicks - 6 Carolina chickadees, photo attached. See spreadsheet for details. Also attached are pictures of 4 bluebird eggs in box F18, 1 bluebird egg in box F39, and 5 bluebird eggs in box F30. F30 had 2 eggs last week and now has 5. Bluebirds lay 1 egg per day, until they have completed laying usually 4 or 5 eggs. Then they begin to incubate.
Also some things of note, last week box 23 had a tufted titmouse nest with 6 eggs. Unfortunately for the titmouse, a bluebird took over the box and built a nest on top of the titmouse eggs, meaning they will not hatch. Fortunately, we have a new titmouse nest with 4 eggs in box F47. My apologies to the sponsor of box F42, because the complete bluebird nest that I reported, was in box F43 instead. There's still plenty of time for a bluebird to nest in your box, F42 though.
In addition to seeing bluebirds, chickadees and titmice today, I saw a flock of wood ducks, American crows, red-shouldered hawks, northern parula, wild turkey, catbird, mourning doves, and flocks of palm warblers.
I also saw some pretty impressive plants that I don't see often. Attached are pictures of 2 native milkweeds - Michaux's Milkweed (Asclepiadacea michauxii), and Sandhill Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae humistrata). Milkweeds are the host plant of Queen and Monarch butterflies (pictures attached) and both were in abundance today. Another attached picture is of the plant, Tread Softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus), that gets its name from the fact that some people have severe reactions to the stinging hairs. The most abundant and loved best by the insects is another picture of a Thistle (Cirsium horridulum).