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Bluebird Trail Reports 3/7/22

Below are the weekly reports from the following BB Trails:

  • Balm-Boyette Preserve: No nests in the boxes yet, but Nancy Eydmann reported several bluebirds flying in and out of the boxes. This is very encouraging news since last year we had 3 boxes of tufted titmice, but no bluebirds. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

  • Lake Park: Joni Hartzler says they are off to a good start with 9 nests (7 BB & 2 CC). They've also added six more boxes to the trail for a total of 26.

  • Lettuce Lake: Sherry Keller is monitoring the 3 boxes at Lettuce Lake Park for the first time and is very encouraged to find Carolina chickadee nests in two of the boxes.

  • Sargeant's Park: I monitor the 3 boxes at that park and am happy to report a completed bluebird nest in one.

Sherry and I had another very good day at Flatwoods Park today and were so glad it was breezy and cool on the trail. All bats have left the boxes and we have a total of 11 nests (6 BB & 5 CC) and we have our first BB egg in box F28. (See attached spreadsheet for details). Last week there were 2 bats in F6 and the bluebirds would not go in the box as long as the bats were there. So we decided to install another BB box nearby, hoping that the birds would nest in there if the bats didn't leave. We needn't have worried since the bats left and the bluebirds were still hanging around the original box today.

I've attached a picture of Sherry cleaning out the original box and the new box is nearby. Hopefully, next week we'll have a nest in F6.

Lots of bluebirds were hanging around the boxes today and we saw plenty of other birds and animals also. We saw white-eyed vireos, red-shouldered hawks, turkey and black vultures, an anhinga, a juvenile black-crowned night-heron, a great blue heron,

wood storks, northern cardinals, northern parulas, a flock of about 50 female red-winged blackbirds, a common gallinule, flocks of palm warblers, ground doves, eastern towhees, a mockingbird, eastern phoebes, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers. I'm also including a picture of a migratory yellow-bellied sapsucker that I saw at Flatwoods on Wednesday. We saw 2 juvenile alligators in the same spot as last week and a black racer snake. Flatwoods is so dry right now and we rescued a tiny alligator snapping turtle trying to cross the

trail, but it was so dehydrated and caked in mud that we put him in a bucket with a little water and carried him to the nearest water hole. He zoomed right into the water.

Yellow star-grass (Hypoxis juncea), bog buttons (Lachnocaulon anceps), and Dixie Iris (Iris hexagona) were blooming along the trail.

It's always exciting when one of our Tampa Audubon Society members is recognized for outstanding achievements in our community. Last week, the Hillsborough County Commissioners voted unanimously to rename the nature and visitor center at Lettuce Lake Park for Joel Jackson, a long time friend and member of Tampa Audubon Society and the Suncoast Native Plant Society. I've included the article about the honor that appeared in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times. Congratulations, Joel! You deserve it!



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