Thanks to all of our supporters and sponsors! I am happy to announce that the 2022 Bluebird Nesting Season has begun!
Sherry Keller, Nancy Eydmann, and I made our first visit to the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail today and were very encouraged by the results. We saw bluebirds and chickadees flying around everywhere, and found 7 completed or partial nests, 5 of them bluebirds and 2 of them Carolina chickadees. We are off to a great start! When we checked the boxes about a month ago, we found 5 boxes with bats in them. They seem to take refuge in our boxes, especially in the cold weather. We thought they would be gone by now, but 3 of the 5 boxes still have bats in them, that will probably leave as the weather gets warmer. (See attached spreadsheet for details).
Sherry, who assists me every Monday at Flatwoods, is also taking over monitoring the 3 boxes at Lettuce Lake Park. We recently relocated those boxes, because they have never had occupants. To our surprise, Sherry found a Carolina chickadee nest in one of them today!
Nancy Eydmann rode along today, because she is going to be monitoring the boxes at Balm-Boyette Preserve. Nancy, her daughter, and her granddaughter, ride their bikes at Balm-Boyette every week, so she was happy to volunteer to monitor the boxes. Beginning next week, I will again give weekly reports of the other bluebird trails monitored by Audubon members.
It was a cool, beautiful day at Flatwoods and we saw abundant wildlife. The water birds were especially plentiful since the wetland areas are drying out and the birds are finding lots of fish concentrated in these small water holes. We saw great and little blue herons, anhingas (above), juvenile and adult ibis, great egrets, wood storks, and a common moorhen (gallinule).
We also saw a young alligator in one of the lakes. Little flocks of palm warblers were everywhere, and many Eastern towhees were calling all over the park. In addition to the bluebirds and Carolina chickadees, we saw a Carolina wren, red bellied woodpecker, eastern phoebes, northern parulas, a bluejay, cardinals, black and turkey vultures, ground and mourning doves, American and fish crows, red shouldered hawks, and a gray catbird. Along the trail we also saw a Florida box turtle and a swamp rabbit.
A couple of the early blooming plants, like yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), Chickasaw Plum tree (Prunus angustifolia), and Sand Blackberry vine (Rubus cuneifolius) were putting out their first flowers.
Thanks again for your support. I'm looking forward to another great year!