Today, I had a big surprise in store for me on the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail! The first box I opened, box F56, had a red rat snake coiled up in the nest that had just eaten the 4 bluebird chicks! Obviously, my predator guards are not 100% snake proof! I've attached 2 pictures of the snake--one, coiled up in the box, and the second as he was uncoiling, ready to take off after I relocated and released him! Everything has to eat. I just don't want it to be my bluebirds!
Total number of fledglings is 148 (137 BB, 7 CC, 4 TM), with 10 chicks and 12 eggs remaining. See attached spreadsheet for details. Also attached is a picture of the 2 chicks in box F53.
In addition to the bluebirds, I saw lots of other birds today including 3 wood ducks, an osprey, ruby-throated hummingbird in the native garden, ground and mourning doves, turkey vultures, fish crow, Carolina wren, eastern towhees, and 2 families of bobwhite quail, one family with 9 chicks, a common yellowthroat, and cardinals. Other birds seen, and pictures attached, are Sherry Keller's photos of a black-crowned night-heron, a wild turkey, and an adult and juvenile little blue heron. The immature little blue herons are all white, and gradually change to all blue.
With the much needed rain we've been having, our rain-lilies or Atamasco-lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco) have burst into bloom and I've attached a picture of them in our native garden. Also attached is a picture of a button snakeroot or rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium).