Bluebird Trail Report 4-22-2019

Today we have our first titmouse and bluebird fledglings in Box F21 & F36 for a total of 7 fledglings so far this nesting season. In addition, we have 23 chicks (12 BB, 9 CC, 2 TM), and 60 eggs, all bluebirds. See attached spreadsheet for details. Sadly, we had 5 dead bluebird chicks in box F17, probably the result of something happening to the parents. Another puzzle was Box F37 which had 5 eggs last week that were missing this week, but the nest seemed much higher this week. When I examined the bottom part of the nest, the 5 eggs were there, which meant the eggs were probably infertile, and the parents built a new nest on top to begin again.  Adults can tell when eggs are infertile by the temperature of the eggs, and if they detect movement in the eggs.

I've attached pictures of the eggs and chicks in boxes F6 (1 bluebird egg). Bluebirds lay one eggs per day until all are laid (3 - 5) and then they begin incubating. F28 had 4 bluebird chicks; F45 had 4 chickadee chicks; F46 had 2 titmice chicks, with a piece of snakeskin covering part of the body.

Today I saw a red-shouldered hawk, palm warblers, a great egret, American crows, and heard bobwhite quail again. I also saw a deer and a gopher tortoise (picture attached).

Attached are pictures of a Gulf Fritillary butterfly feeding from a thistle, a beautiful little orchid called Spring Ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes vernali), and tickseed, (Doreopsis leavenworthii), which is Florida's State Wildflower.

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