The total number of fledglings for the 2022 nesting season for the six trails was 307! Of those, 267 were Bluebirds, 28 were Carolina Chickadees, 6 were Titmice, and 6 were Carolina Wrens. Totals by Park are as follows:
Balm-Boyette Preserve: 8 fledglings (5 CC, 3 TM)
Hunter's Green Park: 28 BB fledglings
Lake Park: 93 fledglings (84 BB, 3 CC, 6 CW)
Lettuce Lake Park: 7 fledglings (5 BB, 2 CC)
Sargeant's Park: 5 BB fledglings
Flatwoods Park: 166 fledglings (145 BB, 18 CC, 3 TM). See attached spreadsheet for details.
On the final monitoring day of the 2022 nesting season, we cleaned out the last abandoned nest in box F53. Flatwoods Bluebird Trail had a very good year with few missing eggs or chicks. The less severe dry season and moderate rainy season, helped provide an abundant number of insects for the chicks to eat. The only remaining occupants on the trail are at least 20 Evening Bats (Nycticeius humeralis), that really seem to like our boxes. Many bats are endangered and we want to help increase their populations, so that is why we will be installing 3 bat boxes this fall.
We were very excited to see several juvenile bluebirds flying and hunting together. In addition, we saw a Great Egret, a Northern Parula, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens, a Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Cardinals, Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Black and Turkey Vultures, Mourning Doves, a Yellow-throated Vireo, a Fish Crow, and Eastern Towhees. We also saw a White-tailed Deer and a Marsh Rabbit.
Our Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) is in full bloom in the native garden and the bees and butterflies love it. Along the loop, we saw a bee feeding on a beautiful Phoebanthus (Phoebanthus grandiflora). Another plant that's been blooming all summer has been the Fragrant Eryngium (Erynguim aromaticum). (Photos of highlighted wildlife and plants are pictured in the Flatwoods Park Photos Attachment).
In summary, the success of these six trails this year is due in large part to the following people. Thanks to:
Joni Hartzler and Gary Krotz (Lake Park), NancyEydmann (Balm-Boyette Preserve), Sherry Keller (Lettuce Lake Park), Patricia O'Brien-Giglia (Hunter's Green Park), for restoring and monitoring the trails at their parks.
Scott Radford, Joni Hartzler and Gary Krotz, and all our other wonderful sponsors and donors for supporting this project and providing the funds to keep the trails in good shape.
Sherry Keller, who has provided excellent assistance to me for the third year on the Flatwoods Trail, and taken wonderful pictures for the weekly reports.
All the other photographers, including George Veazey, Nedda Honig, Sally Recchia, Mike Fite, Sandy Reed, Dale Goebel, John Miller, and Clint Perigard, who have contributed photos that I can use whenever I want.
The Flatwoods Park staff, especially Senior Park Manager Rodney Petty, and Rangers Clint Perigard, and Dixie Morgan, who are very protective of the bluebirds and all other wildlife at Flatwoods Park and are always willing to help at a moment's notice.
My loyal volunteers, including Sherry Keller, Roxie Custalow, Irwin Schuster, Tim Ohr, and Bruce Dangremond, who are ready to help keep the trail in good shape for the birds.
Last, but not least, is my husband, John, who always lends a hand when I need it!
I am already preparing for the 2023 nesting season and in January, I will notify TAS members and all past sponsors to let them know it's time to sign up again for 2023. Thanks again for your support and I'll look forward to hearing from you again next year!