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Archive for the ‘Mississippi Gulf Coast Wild Flowers’ Category

Weeks 6 and 7 Blue Bird Trail results are in, and Master Naturalist John Lipscomb reports today, “Hi Blue Bird fans! Things have really started happening, along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail in Long Beach!”

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John enthusiastically reports today, “This beautiful weather has got things happening. We even have a nest in Box #3; and this box has never produced eggs before.” He added, “The female was in the box and a male was on top of the box, when I approached the box today. Keep your fingers crossed!”

Today’s positive results echoed what John observed during his Survey last Friday, April 9: “Finally we are starting to see eggs, and we could have some babies by next week. I walked up on several moms sitting on eggs this morning.

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He also observed, “It was a beautiful day to walk the Trail, with bright sunshine, flowers blooming, birds chirping……a good day to be alive.”

Following are Week #6 (April 9, 2010) Survey results:

Box #1 – 4 eggs.
Box #2 – 5 eggs.
Box #3 – grass in box.
Box #4 – 5 eggs.
Box #5 – No activity.
Box #6 – 1 egg.
Box #7 – Nest built.
Box #8 – 6 eggs.
Box #9 – Grass in box.
Box #10 – Grass in box.
Box #11 – Straw in box.
Box #12 – 1 egg.
Box #13 – Nest built.

Total: 21 eggs in the nesting boxes.

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Following are Week #7 (April 16, 2010) Survey results:

Box #1 – 5 eggs. – Last week: 4 eggs.
Box #2 – 3 babies, 2 eggs. Last week: 5 eggs.
Box #3 – Nest built. – Last week: grass in box.
Box #4 – 5 eggs. – Last week: 5 eggs.
Box #5 – No activity. – Last week: No activity.
Box #6 – 5 eggs. – Last week: 1 egg.
Box #7 – 5 eggs. – Last week: Nest built.
Box #8 – 5 eggs. – Last week: 5 eggs.
Box #9 – Grass in box; no change. – Last week: Grass in box.
Box #10 – Partially covered moss nest. – Last week: Grass in box.
Box #11 – Straw in box; no change. – Last week: Straw in box.
Box #12 – 4 eggs. – Last week: 1 egg.
Box #13 – Nest built. – Last week: Nest built.

Totals: 31 eggs, 3 babies.

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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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Hello again, fellow Blue Bird enthusiasts, and welcome to the April 17, 2009, Week #7, of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird trail Survey, on the campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center, in Long beach.

It was good this week to be able to conduct the Blue Bird Trail Survey with Master Naturalist Buddy John and Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog. John’s leg is feeling much better these days, as it responds to medications and exercise.

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A female Blue Bird sits on a fence near nesting box #9 Friday, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, in Long Beach.

This week’s Survey found our Blue Bird baby and egg numbers the same as that of the April 10 Survey of last Friday, with 26 babies and 7 eggs.

Master Naturalist Buddy John noted after this morning’s Survey, that most of the Blue Bird babies currently in the Trail’s nesting boxes, will most likely have flown the nests by next week’s Survey. Thus, we will have a more accurate count of how many babies have actually hatched and flown, and how many of the original eggs are sterile and still in the nests.

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The Blue Bird babies in nesting box #2, as seen this morning in this image, are very large and will be flying from the box any day now.

And, the 4 eggs currently under incubation in nesting box #1, should have all hatched by next Friday, hopefully increasing the baby numbers this season from 26 babies, to 30.

Once all the babies in a nest have flown, we will remove the old nest and clean the box, readying it for the female Blue Bird to begin building a new nest and lay a another batch of eggs.

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The Blue Bird babies in nesting box #4 are also large now, and soon will fly the nest.

In the 2008 Week #7 Trail Survey, we had 16 Blue Bird babies in the nest or already flown, and 12 Blue Bird eggs in the nests. So, this year, we are 10 babies ahead of last year at this time in the season, a healthy increase.

Here are the results of today’s Trail Survey – April 17, 2009:

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Here are the 5 large babies in nesting box #6, as photographed this morning.

Nest #1 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #2 – 3 large Blue Bird babies – will probably fly the next before next Friday’s Survey; 2 Blue Bird eggs (suspect these are sterile eggs). – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird babies, 2 Blue Bird eggs.

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

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The babies in nesting box #7 are also near to flying the nest.

Nest #4 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #6 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies.

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The large Blue Bird babies in nesting box #8, this morning. One can easily see the blue feathers growing on the babies.

Nest #7 – 4 large Blue Bird babies – will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey, 1 Blue Bird egg (suspect this is a sterile egg). – Last Week: 4 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

Nest #8 – 5 large Blue Bird babies, will probably fly the nest before next Friday’s Survey. – Last Week: 5 Blue Bird babies.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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

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The babies in nesting box #12, are a little smaller and younger than the other babies on the Trail. This nesting box was 6″ from having water in it just two weeks ago, during the heavy rains and flooding on the Trail.

Nest #11 – Some straw in box, no activity. Removed old straw – cleaned box. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – 4 small Blue Bird babies. – Last Week: 4 small Blue Bird babies.

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This little fellow was hanging around this afternoon near nesting box #9, and appears to be an Eastern Kingbird.

Nest #13 – Nest built, no eggs yet. Removed nest – cleaned box. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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And here is something nice to send you away with this week: a large growth of beautiful blue Spiderwort, which is growing on soil on the lower part of campus, which was under 5′ of water two weeks ago. Nice comeback, huh?

Have a great week!

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It’s time to do Week #3 of the 2009 Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail Survey in Long Beach, but, something is wrong.

Normally, the Blue Bird Trail Survey crew includes Master Naturalist Buddy John, Emily, the Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, and myself.

Today, though, the survey crew included……… me.

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Master Naturalist Buddy John.

Master Naturalist Buddy John was admitted to the hospital yesterday morning, after waking up with one of his legs swollen. John hopes to be out of the hospital by Sunday evening, but I figure that won’t happen, as hospitals don’t to let patients out on a Sunday. Is that what you’ve heard?

So, I am babysitting with Emily, and her little sister, Halie, the Manx cat, for the weekend, or until John comes back home.

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Halie, John’s Manx cat, and Emily’s little sister.

Meanwhile, it was time to Survey the nesting boxes for Week #3, and lots is happening.

WOW! The Blue Birds have busy during the past week!

During last week’s survey, we found nine nests already built (no eggs yet, though), two nests under construction, and two empty nesting boxes.

This week’s Blue Bird Trail Survey found ten nests built, including one moss nest, one nest under construction and two empty nesting boxes.

The big difference this week is that we have a total of 23 new Blue Bird eggs among five of the nesting boxes! It will be interesting to see how many of these eggs result in babies that fly from the nest.

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Three of our nesting boxes had five Blue Bird eggs in them.

A year ago this week on the Blue Bird Trail Survey, we found four Blue Bird nests completely built, containing a total of 13 Blue Bird eggs in those four nests, with two other nests under construction, and seven empty nesting boxes.

Here are the complete Blue Bird Trail Survey results for this week, on Friday, March 20, 2009:

Nest #1 – Moss nest built. – Last Week: Nest under construction; some moss found in box.

Nest #2 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built.

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

Nest #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #5 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #6 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #7 – 5 Blue Bird Eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #8 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

Nest #9 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – Last Week: Nest built, no eggs yet.

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

Nest #11 – Some straw in box. – Last Week: Some straw in box.

Nest #12 – Nest built, no eggs yet. – 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.

HAPPY SPRING!

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Ok, Blue Bird fans, we’re near the end of the Blue Bird mating season here, and it’s Week #20 update time for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Program in the city of Long Beach, on the 45-acre campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center!

Here is what ‘Master Naturalist’ buddy John and I found today, July 18, 2008, walking around campus during a Friday morning, taking the Blue Bird Trail nesting survey.

Here are this week’s Survey results:

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Master Naturalist Buddy John checks one of the SMRC Blue Bird Trail nesting boxes Friday morning during the weekly survey.

Box #1- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #2- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest.

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Nesting box #12 has 5 fast-growing “bauble-heads,” as Master Naturalist Buddy John calls the Blue Bird babies. These guys will be flying the nest before the survey next Friday.

Box #3- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #4- 1 Blue Bird baby flew the nest. – Last week: 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs.

Box #5- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #6- 1 Blue Bird egg missing, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

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The juvenile Killdeers are still growing and almost the size of the adult parents.

Box #7- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #8- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #9- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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The second juvenile Killdeer.

Box #10- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #11- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Few old straw, no new activity.

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An adult Mockingbird alertly guards her nest in one of the trees on the SMRC Campus.

Box #12- 5 large Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 5 new Blue Bird babies.

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

Totals This Week: 5 Blue Bird babies, 1 Blue Bird baby flew the nest, 1 Blue Bird egg missing (predator), 6 sterile Blue Bird eggs, 10 empty nesting boxes.

Totals Last Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs, 6 Blue Bird babies, 9 Empty nesting boxes, 3 Blue Birds flew from the nest, 2 Killdeer babies (one baby and one parent have disappeared, perhaps to a nearby area).

Master Naturalist buddy John continues to be very enthused about the activity, and reports that during the last 19 weeks of the program, 40 Blue Bird babies and 6 Chickadee babies have flown from their nests, and we also have 2 of the original 3 Killdeer babies left who have left their ground nest in one of the grassy areas on campus, and have joined their parents in feeding on the ground, during this first season of the new Blue Bird Trail.

The weather today was partly cloudy, light wind, humid and about 93 degrees.

Another update will be along next weekend. Have a great Weekend!

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Here are the results from the Wild Flower identification contest in last week’s survey results:

Wild Flower #1 – below: Common Name: Orange Milkwort, Orange Candy Root.

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Here’s a closer view of Wild Flower #1 – below: Orange Milkwort, Orange Candy Root.

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Wild Flower #2 – below: *Note: This flower starts out as a purple color and fades to the white it is here. Common Name: Meadow Beauty.

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Wild Flower #3: Common Name: Spiderwort.

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Wild Flower #4 – below: Common Name: Rose Purslane.

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Here is a closer view of Wild Flower #4 – below: Common Name: Rose Purslane.

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Here is Wild Flower #5 – below: Name: Threadleaf Coreopsis.

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Congratulations to Carissa at Good and Crazy for having the most correct wild flower names!

Thanks to those of you who ventured guesses on the names!

Another Survey next week!

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Ok, Blue Bird fans, we’re near the end of the Blue Bird mating season here, and it’s Week #19 update time for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Program in the city of Long Beach, on the 45-acre campus of the South Mississippi Regional Center!

Here is what ‘Master Naturalist’ buddy John and I found today, July 11, 2008, walking around campus during a Friday morning, taking the Blue Bird Trail nesting survey.

Here are this week’s Survey results:

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Emily The Tree-Climbing Wonder Dog, always goes on the Survey Walk.

Box #1- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #2- 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest. – Last week: 3 Blue Bird babies.

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The Blue Bird baby in nesting box #4 has grown very large and should be flying from the nest before next week’s Survey. Unfortunaely, it appears the three eggs in the nest with him/her are sterile.

Box #3- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #4- 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 sterile Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs

Box #5- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #6- 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 3 Blue Bird eggs.

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Five new babies in nesting box #12 since last week!

Box #7- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #8- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #9- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

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The Killdeer babies continue to grow.

Box #10- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Empty nesting box, no activity.

Box #11- Empty nesting box, no activity. – Last week: Few old straw, no new activity.

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A number of beautiful wild flowers also grow along the Blue Bird Trail on our Campus, including many Trumpet Vine flowers.

Box #12- 5 new Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 5 Blue Bird eggs.

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

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Another Trumpet Vine flower, this one has a visitor.

Totals This Week: 4 Blue Bird eggs, 6 Blue Bird babies, 9 Empty nesting boxes, 3 Blue Birds flew from the nest, 2 Killdeer babies (one baby and one parent have disappeared, perhaps to a nearby area).

Totals Last Week: 11 Blue Bird eggs, 4 Blue Bird babies, 9 Empty nesting boxes, 3 Killdeer babies.

Master Naturalist buddy John continues to be very enthused about the activity, and reports that during the last 18 weeks of the program, 39 Blue Bird babies and 6 Chickadee babies have flown from their nests, and we also have 2 of the original 3 Killdeer babies left who have left their ground nest in one of the grassy areas on campus, and have joined their parents in feeding on the ground, during this first season of the new Blue Bird Trail. We are hoping to have at least 50 Blue Bird babies fly from the nests this season, but the season is near the end, and we feel it will probably be over in the next 2-3 weeks.

The weather today was partly cloudy, light wind, humid and about 93 degrees.

Another update will be along next weekend. Have a great Weekend!

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Meanwhile, we thought we would have a little Wild Flower contest.

Please have a look at the following wild flowers which were in bloom this morning along the Blue Bird Trail and see if you know their names: (Winners and names will be announced in next week’s Survey)

Wild Flower #1 – below:

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Here’s a closer view of Wild Flower #1 – below:

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Wild Flower #2 – below: *Note: This flower starts out as a purple color and fades to the white it is here.

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Wild Flower #3:

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Wild Flower #4 – below:

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Here is a closer view of Wild Flower #4 – below:

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Here is Wild Flower #5 – below:

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Good luck on coming up with the names of these beautiful wild flowers!

Another Survey next week!

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