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Bluebird Trail Report 7-12-2021

  • Balm Boyette: 21 TM fledglings, with no active nests.

  • Lake Park: 7 active BB nests with 14 eggs, 13 chicks, and 70 fledglings (52 BB, 12 CC, 6 CW).

  • Sargeant's Park: 10 BB fledglings, with no active nests.

  • Flatwoods Park: 6 active BB nests with 4 eggs, 10 chicks, and 146 fledglings (111 BB, 23 CC, 12 TM). See attached spreadsheet for details.

Today was a discouraging day on the Flatwoods trail because we found 7 nests with either dead or missing chicks. There can be many reasons for this, but I suspect the weather played a part in it. We had a very dry spring, and then a very wet June, and both of those conditions mean the parents have a harder time finding food for their chicks. Also, it is nearing the end of the nesting season; the mothers' calcium is depleted from the egg laying, and the eggs and chicks from the second and third broods are less healthy as a result. We saw no indication of snake predation, so I don't think that was the cause. Anyway, it is always discouraging to see dead and missing chicks. One bright spot was seeing our returning Brazilian free-tailed bat in box F48 with a baby!

It was also a quieter day of bird watching in general, but we still did see lots of great birds. In the native garden were little ruby-throated hummingbirds. Around the lakes, we saw ibis, tricolored herons, great blue herons and little blue herons. Along the trail, we saw both mourning and ground doves, an American crow, a cardinal, and an eastern towhee. Flying overhead were turkey and black vultures, swallow-tailed kites, an anhinga, and a red-shouldered hawk. We also saw a Florida box turtle and a rabbit.

We've been looking in the wet areas for redroots/bloodroots (Lachnanthes caroliniana) and finally saw them today. The photo below shows a gray hairstreak gathering nectar from one of the flowering plants. Sandhill cranes especially eat this plant. Meadow beauties (Rhexia mariana) are also blooming everywhere right now.


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