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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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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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Welcome again, Blue Bird enthusiasts, to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Bird Trail, in Long Beach, and the Week #20 Trail Survey results.

During this past week on the Trail, the daily temperature average has moderated slightly, dropping into the low 90s to high 80s, a change that was welcomed by area residents.

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Two growing, Blue Bird babies in nesting box #8 on the Long Beach Blue Bird Trail this week.

The 2009 Trail Survey is nearing an end, with only a couple of weeks left, during which, the last of the 12 Blue Bird babies currently in the nesting boxes will have flown. If they all make it to that point, the total number of babies flying from the nest will be at 67 for the 2009 Season, 22 more birds than flew last season.

And for that, Master Naturalist Buddy John and I are thankful.

Here are Survey Totals this 2009 Season so far:

86 eggs laid: 9 have been sterile, 5 lost to a predator.

55 babies have flown the nest. – Last Year: 40 babies had flown the nest as of Week #18. Last Year Total Blue Bird babies flying from the nesting boxes: 45.

4 eggs in nesting boxes currently.

12 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 17, 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 babies. – 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 – 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs. – Last Week: 1 Blue Bird baby, 3 Blue Bird eggs.

Nesting Box #8 – 2 Blue Bird Babies, possible predator problem. – Last Week: 3 Blue Bird Babies, 1 Blue Bird egg.

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 babies.

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

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John and I will do Trail Survey #21 next Friday, and then John will do the final Trail Survey the following Friday, July 31, when I will be in Wisconsin visiting family and friends.

Have a great week!

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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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