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Archive for the ‘Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Birds’ Category

Well, here we are, heading for the middle of July, and it’s Week #19 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey in Long beach.

It seems like we were just observing New Years Day, and the year is already half gone!

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Brand new Blue Bird babies were in the nesting boxes again this week on the Long Beach Blue Bird Trail.

Master Naturalist Buddy John and I did the Blue Bird Trail Survey in separate sections Friday morning, with John doing the first 7 nesting boxes, on the occupied part of campus, and your author checking nesting boxes 8-13 on the undeveloped, wooded north section.

After having only 17 eggs in the boxes in last Friday’s Trail Survey, this week we found that 9 of those eggs had hatched during the past week, and we had 3 boxes with a total of 9 new, tiny little Blue Bird babies looking for food from their parents. What a great sight!

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

86 eggs laid: 9 have been sterile, 4 lost to a predator.

55 babies have flown the nest. – Last Year: 39 babies had flown the nest as of Week #18. Last Year Total Blue Bird babies flying from the nesting boxes: 45.

8 eggs in nesting boxes currently.

9 babies in nesting boxes currently.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey of the individual nesting boxes, on Friday morning, July 10, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #2 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #3 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #7 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New nest built, 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird Babies. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird Baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #12 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #13 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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Area lawns and vegetation here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have greened up during the past few days, after a couple of downpours earlier in the week. So nice to see at last, after more than a month without any precipitation.

The next two Fridays, July 17, and July 24, John and I will do Weeks #20 and #21 Trail Surveys, and then early Saturday morning, July 25, I will leave on the long drive north up to my home in Wisconsin, for a lengthy visit there with family, and to participate in the Annual Boscobel, WI Civil War Weekend Reenactment.

I am looking forward to seeing most of my family during that time, including my daughter-in-law and my two grandsons, who will be visiting at her parents’ home just off I-55 on my trip north, about an hour north of St. Louis. So, I will stop off and see them during Sunday, the 26th, before continuing on home that evening.

Have a great week!

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Hello again fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and Welcome to Week #18 of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center, in Long Beach.

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Juvenile Blue Birds from the first hatch of the 2009 Season.

It has been yet another very hot week here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but several of the Blue Bird pairs are still producing eggs. 5 new eggs were laid during the past week, bringing the total number of eggs in the nesting boxes to 17. There are no Blue Bird babies currently in the boxes.

Commenting on the Blue Bird Trail Survey this afternoon, Master Naturalist Buddy John, the founder of the Long Beach Blue Bird Trail, had several things to say: “It’s scorching, it’s no fun checking boxes this time of year. I’m very happy with what we’re doing. We’ve got 10 more birds that have flown this year already, than last year, and we have 17 eggs still in the nesting boxes. So, I think we could reasonably push 70 new birds this summer. That’s an increase of 25 from last year. So, I’m happy. I think we’ve done more than we have expected.”

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

86 eggs laid: 9 have been sterile, 4 lost to a predator.

55 babies have flown the nest. – Last Year: 36 babies had flown the nest as of Week #18. Last Year Total Blue Bird babies flying from the nesting boxes: 45.

17 eggs in nesting boxes currently.

0 babies in nesting boxes currently.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey of the individual nesting boxes, on Friday morning, July 3, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg missing.

Nesting Box #2 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg missing.

Nesting Box #3 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest.

Nesting Box #7 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New nest built, 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – 4 Blue Bird eggs – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird eggs – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #13 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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In other breaking news along the Blue Bird Trail this week, our friend, Master Naturalist Andrea K. retired on Wednesday, after 25 years of service on the campus of the SMRC. Her presence and contributions to our clients and staff, will be (are) sorely missed. Enjoy your retirement, Andrea!

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Master Naturalist Andrea K., of Hummingbird Trapping fame, (see the little hummer in the white mesh bag?) a staunch supporter of the Blue Bird Trail, and birding, in general, and more recently as Director of Interdisciplinary Programs at the SMRC, has retired this week after 25 years of dedicated service.

Your author will join Master Naturalist Buddy John and his two weekend guests, and Master Naturalist Andrea, and spouse, Ralph, of recent sky diving fame, tomorrow morning to attend the Annual Bay St. Louis Crab Fest, across the bay. That will be a real treat!

How hot has it been here? After a high of 96 earlier this afternoon, at 10:07pm here, it is 86 and clear.

Have a great Holiday weekend!

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Another very hot week has passed, here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, on the campus of the South Mississippi regional Center, in Long Beach, but despite the torrid weather, the Week #17 Trail Survey results showed that 10 more Blue Bird babies flew, and 12 new eggs, appeared in the nesting boxes, since the last Survey.

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Nesting box #12 has a brand new nest this week, the largest nest of any we have observed this season. This Blue Bird pair really outdid themselves in the construction of this nest, as the top of it comes right up to the entrance hole.

The flight of the 10 babies during the week, brought the 2009 Season Total to 55, 10 ahead of the entire 2008 Total of 45 babies flying the nest. And with 12 new eggs being laid during the past week, that flight total of 55 should go well over 60 by the end of the 2009 Season.

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

81 eggs laid: 9 have been sterile, 4 lost to a predator.

55 babies have flown the nest. – Last Year: 36 babies had flown the nest as of Week #17. Last Year Total Blue Bird babies flying from the nesting boxes: 45.

12 eggs in nesting boxes currently.

0 babies in nesting boxes currently.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey of the individual nesting boxes, on Friday morning, June 26, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 3 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg missing. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #2 – 3 large Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 2 Blue Bird eggs left – sterile. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #4 – New nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed old nest, cleaned.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

Nesting Box #7 – New nest built, 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Third Clutch. – Last Week: New nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird eggs – Third Clutch. – Last Week: New nest built – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed nest, cleaned box.

Nesting Box #12 – 3 Blue Bird eggs – Third Clutch. – Last Week: New nest built – Third Clutch.

Nesting Box #13 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed nest, cleaned box.

Have a great week, and here’s to another quiet hurricane season week in the tropics!

COME ON, COOLER WEATHER AND SOME RAIN!

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Welcome to Week #16 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach.

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These three large Blue Bird babies will fly from their nesting box any day now.

In a word, things along the Blue Bird Trail this week, were: HOT! The daily average high temperature this week hovered around 95-96 degrees. This is mid-June, not August. What the heck?

I had wondered if this extremely hot weather we are currently experiencing, might slow down or temporarily stop mating season activity among the Blue Birds here on the Trail. Data from today’s Trail Survey, however, doesn’t support that hypothesis, as we found 3 new Blue Bird nests in the nesting boxes, one with a new egg in it. Looks like the pairs are still mating and producing eggs.

Master Naturalist Buddy John expressed a measure of satisfaction today, with the results of the 2009 Blue Bird mating season, after tallying the Survey data, he noted enthusiastically that the current number of Blue Bird babies which have flown from the nesting boxes (45), now equals that total number of babies which flew from the nests during the entire 2008 Season. And, there are still 8 babies in the nesting boxes, as well as three new nests.

It will be interesting to see how long the 2009 Blue Bird mating season lasts, here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

First Clutch Totals:
33 eggs laid total, 5 of which were sterile.
28 Blue Bird babies flew the nest.

Second Clutch Totals (so far):
36 eggs laid total, 3 of which were lost to a predator.
6 eggs in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 6 eggs in nesting boxes.
8 babies in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 22 babies in nesting boxes.
17 Blue Bird babies flew the nest. – Last Week: 3 babies had flown the nest.

Third Clutch Totals (so far):
1 egg laid
3 nesting boxes have new nests in them.

2009 Season Totals (so far):

70 eggs laid: 5 have been sterile, 3 lost to a predator. – Last Week: 69 eggs. Last Year: 73 eggs laid, 12 sterile, 5 lost to predators, as of Week #16.

45 babies have flown the nest. – Last Week: 31 babies. Last Year: 33 babies had flown the nest as of Week #16.

7 eggs in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 7 eggs.

6 babies in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 22 babies.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – June 19, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #2 – 2 large Blue Bird babies, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 2 Blue Bird babies, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #4 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed old nest, cleaned. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #7 – New nest built, 1 egg – Third Clutch. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #8 – New nest built – Third Clutch. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 Large Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed nest, cleaned box. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies.

Nesting Box #12 – New nest built – Third Clutch. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 Large Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed nest, cleaned box. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies.

Have a great week!

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Another week has passed along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach, and it’s time to post Trail Survey results for Friday, June 12, 2009.

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Several of the nesting boxes have large babies like these bauble heads, which will be flying this week.

The average daily temperature here on the coast now, has crept up to 90-92 degrees, falling to an average of 74-75 at night. Fortunately, the humidity hasn’t been too bad for the past 2-3 weeks.

The Blue Bird babies have continued to grow during the past week, with the first 3 babies of the Second Clutch flew from the nesting box. There will be at least 10 more flying any day, with several nesting boxes having large babies in them.

Master Naturalist Buddy John continues to be enthused about the Blue Bird numbers the Trail is generating this 2009 Season.

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

First Clutch Totals:
33 eggs laid total, 5 of which were sterile.
28 Blue Bird babies flew the nest.

Second Clutch Totals (so far):
36 eggs laid total, 3 of which were lost to a predator.
6 eggs in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 7 eggs in nesting boxes.
22 babies in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 26 babies in nesting boxes.
3 Blue Bird babies flew the nest.

2009 Season Totals (so far):

69 eggs laid: 5 have been sterile, 3 lost to a predator. – Last Week: Same total as this week. Last Year: 59 eggs laid, 12 sterile, 5 lost to predators, as of Week #15.

31 babies have flown the nest. – Last Week: 28 babies. Last Year: 29 babies had flown the nest as of Week #15.

6 eggs in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 7 eggs.

22 babies in nesting boxes currently. – Last Week: 26 babies.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – June 12, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #2 – 2 Blue Bird babies, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: No new activity, nest removed, box cleaned.

Nesting Box #4 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 new Blue Bird babies (Probably only 4 babies).

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 3 new Blue Bird babies, 1 hatching at Survey time, 1 egg not hatched yet.

Nesting Box #7 – 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies (or 3 babies, 1 egg).

Nesting Box #8 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 Large Blue Bird babies – ready to fly. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies.

Nesting Box #12 – Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 Large Blue Bird babies – ready to fly. – Last Week: 5 Large Blue Bird babies.

The first two weeks of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season have passed quietly, without any storm activity in the tropics or gulf.

Let’s hope it stays that way until December.

Have a good week!

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Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and WELCOME to Week #13 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center, in Long Beach.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John checks Blue Bird Trail nesting box #7 during this week’s Survey.

It’s been another active week on the Trail with lots of new Blue Bird babies and eggs counted during Friday’s Survey!

When Master Naturalist Buddy John and I were about to start out along the Trail Friday morning, John commented that he was excited to do the Survey this week, as he expected we would find lots of new babies and eggs.

He was right!

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After discovering during last week’s Survey that a predator had taken 3 of the 4 eggs in nesting box #2 on the Trail, we were surprised during this week’s Survey to discover that the female Blue Bird nesting in that box, had gotten busy during this past week and laid another 4 eggs, to bring the total number there to 5 now.

Let’s talk Totals this 2009 Season so far:

First Hatch Totals:
33 eggs total, 5 of which were sterile.
28 Blue Bird babies flew the nest.

Second Hatch Totals (so far):
36 eggs total, 3 of which were lost to a predator.
19 eggs in nesting boxes.
14 babies in nesting boxes.

Season Totals (so far):
69 eggs: 5 sterile, 3 to a predator.
28 babies have flown the nest.
19 eggs in nesting boxes.
14 babies in nesting boxes.

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We discovered five new Blue Bird babies in nesting box #11 Friday morning, probably hatched within the previous few days.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 29, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 new Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #2 – 5 Blue Bird eggs; Mama Blue Bird went right to work and laid 4 new eggs during the past week. – Last Week:1 Blue Bird egg, predator got 3 eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – No new activity, nest removed, box cleaned. – Last Week: Nest built, no new activity.

Nesting Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

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Here are the 4 second hatch eggs in nesting box #4, on Friday.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #7 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #8 – Some straw, no new activity, removed straw, cleaned box. – Last Week: Some straw in box, no new activity.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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When we opened the cover on nesting box #13, we found 5 hungry new babies waiting for their next morsel from their parents.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 new Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #12 – Some straw in box, ne new activity, removed straw, cleaned box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box, no activity.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 new Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Have a great weekend!

Oh yes, guess what we had Friday morning first thing in our department at work: a Hurricane Preparedness Training video! It’s get ready time…

On Monday, the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins!

Here we go again!

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Hello, again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts!

Welcome to the 2009 – Week #12 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Update on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center, in Long Beach.

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A beautiful Blue Bird male, sitting on Nesting Box #7, which, it was revealed in this week’s Trail Survey, held the first babies of the Second Hatch of this season.

Activity during the Second Hatch is increasing, with today’s Trail Survey revealing the first 3 Blue Bird babies of this hatch.

Today’s Survey also noted a total of 25 eggs now incubating in the nesting boxes.

Unfortunately, it also revealed that a predator visited one of the boxes since last week, resulting in three missing eggs from last week’s count. Master Naturalist Buddy John and I are not sure what predator came by, although John did see a raccoon scurrying across the campus yesterday, during the day, when they are usually holed up in a tree somewhere sleeping.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 22, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 4 new Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Full Blue Bird nest built.

Nesting Box #2 – 1 Blue Bird egg; predator visit. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Nest built, no new activity. – Last Week: Nest built.

Nesting Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – 4 new Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built.

Nesting Box #7 – 3 new Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #8 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #12 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Survey totals this 2009 Blue Bird Season include: 28 Blue Bird babies flown from the nesting boxes, 5 sterile eggs, 25 Blue Bird eggs currently incubating in nesting boxes, 3 Blue Bird eggs lost to predators, 33 Blue Bird eggs produced in First Hatch, 31 Blue Bird eggs produced so far during Second Hatch, 64 Blue Bird eggs total produced so far during 2009 Season.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

p.s.- 8 more days until the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins!

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Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and welcome to Week #11 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey in Long Beach.

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Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, walks among our ginormous crop of Gulf Coast Dandelions, during this morning’s Blue Bird Trail Survey.

It’s been another busy week of activity on here on the Long Beach Blue Bird Trail, with 13 new Blue Bird eggs and another completed next found in the nesting boxes this morning, during the survey of the second hatch of the season. The new eggs bring the current second hatch total to 21 eggs now in the nests.

Master Naturalist Buddy John commented during this morning’s Trail Survey that the daily air temperatures on the Trail are now warm enough to incubate the Blue Bird eggs, without the mother bird even sitting on the eggs.

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Nesting Box #2 has its second batch of eggs this season.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 15, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – Full Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird baby flew from the nest, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs confirmed, removed old nest, cleaned box.

Nesting Box #2 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest completed, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #3 – Nest built, no new activity. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built.

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Nesting Box #4 had 3 new Blue Bird eggs when surveyed this morning.

Nesting Box #4 – 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – New Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #7 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest complete, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

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Several new Cross Vine, or Trumpeter Vine plants came into bright bloom this week.

Nesting Box #8 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

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Emily loves going along on the Friday morning Trail Surveys.

Nesting Box #11 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nesting Box #12 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some new straw in box.

Nesting Box #13 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John and Emily head back to the office after checking the final nesting box on the Trail this morning.

Season totals so far include: 28 Blue Bird babies have flown from nests, 5 eggs have been sterile, and 21 new eggs are in nests incubating. With three additional nests now being complete, without eggs yet, we expect to see the total new egg count increase during next week’s Trail Survey.

Have a great week!

Oh yes: only 16 more days remaining until the 2009 Atlantic/Gulf Coast Hurricane Season begins. Lucky us…

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Welcome back, Blue Bird enthusiasts! It’s Week #10 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey in Long Beach.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John makes a notation at Nesting Box #7 during Week #10 of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey.

And the heat and humidity are back on the Gulf Coast! [sweat drips off the author's brow] And, wouldn’t you know, just as the weather here on the Gulf Coast turns hot and humid, my air conditioner quits running! Great!

We are basically at the halfway point of the 2009 Blue Bird mating season here, and activity on the Trail continued in high gear this past week.

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A juvenile Blue Bird which flew from Nesting Box #6 stays close to his mother Friday morning, in a tree near the nesting box.

Master Naturalist Buddy John and your author are very enthused with the results of the 2009 Blue Bird mating season thus far.

The First Hatch of the season has officially ended now, with the last remaining Blue Bird baby from Hatch 1, residing in Box #1, flying from the nest during this past week.

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They stayed close on the Nesting Box, too.

The Trail totals from the First Hatch of 2009, included: 33 total Blue Bird eggs, 5 of which were sterile, and 28 Blue Bird babies flying from the nests, since the first trail survey of 2009, back on March 4.

In the 21 weeks of the 2008 Season, we had a total of 45 Blue Bird babies fly from the nests.

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This juvenile Blue Bird feeds on the ground near the Nesting Box.

This week during the Survey, we found: 1 Blue Bird baby had flown from the nest, 8 new Blue Bird eggs in nests, 5 nests built or under construction, and only 3 empty nesting boxes. A great flurry of activity to move into the Second Hatch.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 8, 2009:

Nesting Box #1 – 1 Blue Bird baby flew from the nest, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs confirmed, removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #2 – New Blue Bird nest completed, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: A few pieces of new straw in box.

Nesting Box #3 – New Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #4 – New Blue Bird nest built. – Last Week: New Blue Bird nest under construction.

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There were 3 new Blue Bird eggs in Nesting Box #4 in Friday morning’s Survey.

Nesting Box #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #6 – Some new straw in box. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #7 – New Blue Bird nest complete, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: New nest partially built.

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There were 3 new Blue Bird eggs in Nesting Box #7 this morning, too.

Nesting Box #8 – Some new straw in box. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #11 – New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nesting Box #12 – Some new straw in box. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, no eggs in old nest; removed old nest, cleaned box.

Nesting Box #13 – New Blue Bird nest built, 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last Week: Empty nest, no activity.

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These beautiful little yellow wildflowers were in great abundance in the north pasture this week.

Oh yes: only 23 more days remaining until the 2009 Atlantic/Gulf Coast Hurricane Season begins.

Here at the South Mississippi Regional Center this morning, a hurricane evacuation drill was held, complete with our clients being loaded onto buses and vans for a short trip away from the Center, and then back again.

The drill went very smoothly. Hopefully, no evacuations will be necessary during this hurricane season.

Have a good week!

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Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and welcome to Week #9 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey at the South Mississippi Regional Center in Long Beach!

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This magnificent Blue Bird male was photographed sitting on nesting Box #7 this week, which has a new nest under construction after the first hatch babies flew the nest.

Master Naturalist Buddy John continues to recovery from his leg ailment, and that is good news!

This week, we moved a little bit closer to the end of the first hatch of the 2009 season, when we noted that four more Blue Bird babies flew from a nesting box during the past week, bringing the total number of nest fliers to 27 for the season.

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A male Blue Bird brings some straw to nesting box #4, helping his mate build a new nest there.

The only remaining nesting box with first hatch activity is Box #1, which has 1 Blue Bird baby, and three eggs in it. We don’t know yet if these eggs are sterile or fertile, but it is looking like they may be the former. Another week should tell their status.

It has been enjoyable during the past week, to watch many of the new Blue Bird flier babies, “hanging around” their former nesting boxes, and in several cases, shadowing their parents within a foot or so when the parent is on the ground, searching for bugs and such, hoping the parent will still feed them.

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Two of the juvenile Blue Birds from the first hatch in nesting box #6, have been hanging around with each other all week within about 40 yards of the box.

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A closeup of one of the Nesting box #6 first hatch juveniles.

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Another of the nesting box #6 juveniles.

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And another Blue Bird juvenile.

A few of the nesting boxes already have new nest building activity in them, only a few days after the babies from the first hatch flew from the nests.

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Blue Birds commonly have a regular diet of various kinds of bugs, spending a lot of time on the ground searching for them.

Here are the results of Friday’s Blue Bird Trail Survey – May 1, 2009:

Nest #1 – 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #2 – A few pieces of new straw. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 1 sterile Blue Bird egg. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.

Nest #3 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #4 – New nest built. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies flew the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.

Nest #5 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #6 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed nest, cleaned nesting box.

Nest #7 – New nest partially built. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, 1 sterile Blue Bird egg, removed old nest and sterile egg, cleaned nesting box.

Nest #8 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies flew the nest, removed the old nest, cleaned nesting box.

Nest #9 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #10 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #11 – Empty box, no activity. – Last Week: Empty box, no activity.

Nest #12 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, no eggs in old nest; removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last Week: 4 large Blue Bird babies.

Nest #13 – Empty nest, no activity. – Last Week: Empty nest, no activity.

Other critters and flora spotted during the week, on the campus of the SMRC, include:

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While I was leaning against a small tree, trying to photograph one of the Blue Birds on a nesting box, I heard a scowling noise directly above me in the tree. Looking up, I spotted this little rascal looking straight down at me, probably wondering what the heck I was doing.

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We have lots of Mockingbirds on the campus, making all kinds of racket during the day.

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Another Mockingbird on the other side of campus.

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We have lots of Lagustrom bushes on the campus, too.

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Of course, there are also tons of Magnolia trees in Mississippi, especially since it is the state tree.

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We have lots of stumps on the north part of the Campus, thanks to the strong winds of Hurricane Katrina.

Totals thus far for the first hatch of the 2009 season include: 27 Blue Bird babies have flown from nests, two eggs have been sterile, with possibly another three more eggs sterile, in a nest, and 1 remaining baby still in a nest, growing.

Oh yes, only 29 more days until the gulf coast hurricane season begins.

Have a good week!

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