Note: The last couple of days heavy rains here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have changed the look of the north side of the Blue Bird Trail. The following images are from Saturday morning, after two days of heavy rains. The survey was taken Friday morning, when there was only about 6″-12″ of flood water on the north, lower portion of the campus.
Master Naturalist Buddy John is out of the hospital this past week and at home resting, healing and hopefully catching up on the sleep he didn’t get while in the last weekend hospital.
As you would expect, Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, was very happy to see her master back home!
Recuperating at home, John and Emily were not able to go on the Blue Bird Trail survey Friday morning, and it was just as well, as the north part of the Trail was mostly under 6″-12″ of water from all the rain we received during Thursday night’s overnight deluge in the Long Beach area.
Then, overnight, Friday evening, after I had taken the survey, we received over 7 inches of rain here in the Long Beach area, on top of the large amount we received early Friday, while our neighbors in Biloxi, received over 11 inches of rain overnight last evening!
So, it’s a wee bit wet outside this Saturday morning, here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as I write this post, including having the entire north, lower-lying portion of our campus, under five feet of flood water.
It’s a good thing that we installed the nesting boxes six feet off the ground! And, again, it is a good thing that I did the survey Friday morning, when there was only 6″-12″ of flood water on part of the trail, instead of waiting to do it Saturday morning, when there was five feet of flood water there!
Friday morning, then, with the able assistance of my fellow Maintenance worker, Russell, who cares for the entire grounds on the 45-acre campus where we work days, we hopped on the Ford tractor and trailer, and cruised out into the slightly flooded north part of the campus to check the two remaining nesting boxes that I wasn’t able to walk to earlier (I didn’t have boots), that were in about a foot of water. Thanks, Russell!
The Blue Birds on the Trail continued to be active during the past week, as 6 new Blue Bird eggs were recorded during the Friday survey, bringing the total number of eggs in the nesting boxes to 29, compared with 23 last Friday.
The two nests which had 4 eggs last week, both increased to 5, making four nests containing 5 eggs. The #12 nest female laid 4 new eggs this week, and John expects that this number will probably increase to 5 by next Friday’s survey.
In activity at the #1 nesting box, a female Blue Bird has taken over the nesting box, from whatever bird had formerly built a complete moss nest in the box. John speculated that perhaps a Chickadee or Nuthatch female had built the moss nest.
Next week’s survey should be interesting, as it is possible that there will be some Blue Bird babies hatching during the coming week.
Here are the complete Blue Bird Trail Survey results for this week, on Friday, March 27, 2009:
Nest #1 – New Blue Bird straw nest built on top of the moss nest; Momma Blue Bird took over the nesting box! – Last Week: Moss nest built.
Nest #2 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.
Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box – no activity.
Nest #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.
Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.
Nest #6 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.
Nest #7 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird Eggs.
Nest #8 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.
Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.
Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.
Nest #11 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some straw in box.
Nest #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.
Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.
Next week, I look forward to doing the Trail Survey with John and Emily back and completing the Survey team.
Have a good week!