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Bluebird Trail Report 4/20/2020

I hope everyone is surviving the "Stay at Home" mandate and staying healthy! In order to beat the rain, I began monitoring the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail early and had an overcast, breezy morning. We have a total of 64 eggs (57 BB, 4 CC, 3 TM), 43 chicks (37 BB, 5 CC, 1 TM), and 5 CC fledglings. See attached spreadsheet for details. Also attached are pictures of  4 newly hatched BB chicks in box F56, 4 older BB chicks in box F6, 1 TM chick in nest with 3 still to hatch eggs in box F26, and 2 almost ready to fledge TM chicks in box F47 with 2 unhatched eggs. Notice that both of the titmice nests include pieces of snakeskin.

Of note this week are the 4 missing eggs in both box F12 and F39. There were no obvious signs of predation by snakes or raccoons and both predator guards were secure. It's possible that all the eggs were infertile and the parents discarded them. I don't really know the reason for the empty nests, but I do imagine that the birds will nest again soon in the same boxes.

Other than the bluebirds, chickadees and titmice, I saw a little blue heron, flocks of palm warblers, ground doves, black vultures and one spectacular swallow-tailed kite soaring above the trail. (picture attached from the internet). Swallow-tailed kites spend the winter in Central and South America and return to Florida in early spring to nest. It is a real treat to see these beautiful, graceful birds flying overhead.

Along the trail the Blackeyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta), and our Florida Wildflower, Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) are beautifying the park. (pictures attached).


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