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Archive for May, 2010

From the South Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, this week, Master Naturalist John Lipscomb reports:

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A Blue Bird parent feeding babies in one of the nesting boxes on the South Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail in Long Beach, Mississippi, during the 2009 Season.

“It has gotten very hot down here. I went fishing yesterday and sweated like I was in a sauna. Mornings and evenings are still nice.

We had an 8 foot alligator in the bayou last week. Haven’t seen him in the last 5 or 6 days. Hope he has gone somewhere else.

My friend, Robbie, who has a fishing camp in Dulac, La., called me this morning. Dulac is about 17 miles south of Houma, which is south central La. They have shut all fishing down in that area. Lots of bird life (eagles, pelicans, egrets, etc.) and other wildlife (deer, turtles, gators, etc.) in this area. Not to mention, shrimp, crabs, fish, etc.

We are still allowed to fish in the Sound [The Bay of St. Louis], but not past the islands. This oil leak is scary.”

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File photo 2009 Season.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #13 – May 28, 2010:

Box #1 – 1 Blue Bird egg. – Last week: – New nest built.

Box #2 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: – 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Box #3 – 3 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: – 3 Blue Bird babies.

Box #4 – 2 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: – No activity; did see Blue Birds on the box though.

Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: – No activity.

Box #6 – 2 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.

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Fishing on the Bayou Portage from John’s back yard dock.

Box #7 – 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.

Box #8 – Nest built. – Last week: New nest built.

Box #9 – Nest built. – Last week: New nest built.

Box #10 – Some straw in box. – Last week: No activity.

Box #11 – Nest built.- Last week: New nest built.

Box #12 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: New nest built.

Box #13 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.

2010 Season Totals: 33 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 17 blue bird eggs, 3 blue bird babies.

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From the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail in Long Beach, Mississippi today, May 21, 2010, Master Naturalist and Trail Founder John Lipscomb had the following report after making today’s Trail Survey:

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2009 file image.

“We now have 33 Blue Bird babies that have flown the nesting boxes. Last year at this time, there were 28 babies that had flown. Also last year this week, we had 25 eggs and 3 babies in the nesting boxes, while this year, this 12th week, we have only 3 babies and 3 eggs.

But, the good news is that we have five new nests that have been built since last week’s Survey on Friday, May 14. These new nests should help bring our egg counts up.

It was very hot and muggy on the Trail today. I saw a dead Blue Bird male today in the vicinity of Box #8. Not sure what killed him. Possibly the stormy weather we had earlier this week.”

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #12 – May 21, 2010:

Box #1 – New nest built. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies flew the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.
Box #2 – 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: Straw in the box; new nest under construction.
Box #3 – 3 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 2 blue bird babies in box and 1 egg – first babies ever in this box.
Box #4 – No activity; did see Blue Birds on the box though. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies flew the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box.
Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.

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2009 file image.
Box #6 – 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #7 – 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned nesting box. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #8 – New nest built. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned box.
Box #9 – New nest built. – Last week: No activity.
Box #10 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #11 – New nest built. – Last week: No activity.

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The adult Blue Birds were very busy building five new nests in the boxes along the Trail during the past week. 2009 file image.

Box #12 – New nest built. – Last week: 4 blue bird babies flew from the next, change from 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg in box.
Box #13 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.

2010 Season Totals: 33 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 3 blue bird eggs, 3 blue bird babies, 5 new Blue Bird nests built this week.

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Master Naturalist John checking a Blue Bird Trail nesting box during the 2009 Season.

Master Naturalist John reports that he had quite a morning taking the Blue Bird Trail Survey on Friday, May 14, 2010, “I saw a Blue Grosbeak in the back field. Some actually stay and summer here, and I guess this is one of them. There are Dew berries everywhere! It took a lot longer to check the nesting boxes because I was bent over half the time munching dew berries. Tasty!”

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #11 – May 14, 2010:

Box #1 – 5 blue bird babies flew the nest. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #2 – Straw in the box; new nest under construction. – Last week: 4 blue bird babies flew the nest, 1 sterile egg left, removed next, cleaned box.
Box #3 – 2 blue bird babies in box and 1 egg – first babies ever in this box. – Last week: 3 blue bird eggs.
Box #4 – 5 blue bird babies flew the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.

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Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #6 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #7 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #8 – 5 blue bird babies flew from the nest. Removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #9 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #10 – No activity. – Last week: No activity, removed moss from box.
Box #11 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #12 – 4 blue bird babies flew from the next, change from 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg in box. – Last week: 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg.
Box #13 – No activity. – Last week: No activity, removed nest.

2010 Season Totals: 23 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 1 blue bird egg, 12 blue bird babies.

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Besides viewing all of the spring activity along the Long Beach Blue Bird trail, John has also been observing other winged activity moving through his back yard. He reported in an email on April 19, 2010, “We have lots of migratories on the Coast now. I have seen indigo buntings, a painted bunting, an orchard oriole and flocks of cedar waxwings. I have 4 baby blue birds in the nesting box on the bayou behind my house.”

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This beautiful male blue bird was photographed feeding his babies at nesting box #7 during the 2009 season.

During the Blue Bird Trail Survey of Friday, April 23, John reported, “It was warm and muggy our there while walking the trail. I even walked up on a red tailed hawk in the back of the property, by the canal. He made a lot of racket flying out of the tree he was in, when he left, and I was able to watch him for a 1/4 of a mile during his flight.”

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #8 – Apr. 23, 2010:

Box #1 – 5 blue bird eggs. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #2 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 3 blue bird babies.
Box #3 – 1 blue bird egg. – Last week: Nest built.
Box #4 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #6 – 5 blue bird eggs. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #7 – 5 blue bird eggs. – Last week: 5 eggs.
Box #8 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #9 – No activity. – Last week: Grass in box.
Box #10 – Moss in nesting box. – Last week: Partially covered moss nest.
Box #11 – No activity. – Last week: Straw in box.
Box #12 – 4 eggs. – Last week: 4 eggs.
Box #13 – Nest built. – Last week: Nest built.

Totals: 20 blue bird eggs, 15 blue bird babies.
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John reports that it was warm and muggy on the Trail during the Survey. Also windy, and he adds, “Let’s hope and pray for the smallest of problems with the oil spill.”

Amen, to that prayer!

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John has lots of big fellows like this in the nesting boxes this week, ready to fly.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #9 – Apr. 30, 2010:

Box #1 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #2 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #3 – 3 blue bird eggs. – Last week: 1 blue bird egg.
Box #4 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #6 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.
Box #7 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 eggs.
Box #8 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #9 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #10 – Moss in box, saw male blue bird in nearby tree. – Last week: Moss in nesting box.
Box #11 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #12 – 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg. – Last week: 4 babies.
Box #13 – Nest has been in box 4 weeks. – Last week: Nest built.

Totals: 4 blue bird eggs, 33 blue bird babies.
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In Week #10 Survey, John noted that 4 babies had flown the nest, leaving one sterile egg remaining. Last week, he thought there were 5 babies in the nest. But when they are that big, you can’t always see all 5, and low and behold, there was only 4 babies, sitting on that one sterile egg. John reminds us that the proof, is when they fly. More babies will fly during this coming week.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #10 – May 6, 2010:

Box #1 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #2 – 4 blue bird babies flew the nest, 1 sterile egg left, removed next, cleaned box. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #3 – 3 blue bird eggs. – Last week: 3 blue bird eggs.
Box #4 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #6 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #7 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #8 – 5 blue bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird babies.
Box #9 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #10 – No activity, removed moss from box. – Last week: Moss in box, saw male blue bird in nearby tree.
Box #11 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #12 – 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg. – Last week: 3 blue bird babies, 1 egg.
Box #13 – No activity, removed box. – Last week: Nest has been in box 4 weeks.

Totals: 4 blue bird babies flew the nest, 1 sterile blue bird egg, 4 blue bird eggs, 28 blue bird babies.

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