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Pass Christian Master Naturalist and Long Beach Mississippi Blue Bird Trail founder John Lipscomb (pictured above checking a nesting box), reported during the June 11 Trail Survey that it was extremely hot and humid during the survey walk. He commented that he couldn’t imagine being a baby bluebird inside one of those little wooden boxes during that torrid weather. Neither can I.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #15 – June 11, 2010:

Box #1 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

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

Box #3 – New nest; these new guys are playing house again. – Last week: 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest. *First babies ever to fly from this box since Trail founded in 2008. Removed next; cleaned box.

Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird eggs. – 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 blue bird eggs.

Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

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

Box #10 – Some straw in box. – Last week: Some straw in box.

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

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

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

2010 Season Totals: 36 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 9 Blue Bird babies, 23 Blue Bird eggs.
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Lots of large babies like these, flew from the nesting boxes this past week.

John reported during the June 18th Trail Survey that he was enthused with there being lots more Blue Bird babies in the nesting boxes this week; some just hatched and others almost ready to fly the nest.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #16 – June 18, 2010:

Box #1 – 2 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

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

Box #3 – 4 Blue Bird eggs. – Last week: New nest; these new guys are playing house again.

Box #4 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: – 5 Blue Bird eggs.

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

Box #6 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.

Box #7 – 3 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 5 blue bird eggs.

Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird eggs.

Box #9 – Removed nest, no activity. – Last week: Nest built.

Box #10 – Removed straw, no activity. – Last week: Some straw in box.

Box #11 – Nest, will remove next week if no activity. – Last week: Nest built.

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

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

2010 Season Totals: 36 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 22 Blue Bird babies, 10 blue bird eggs.

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When the babies get as large as these bobbleheads, they are ready to fly at most any time.

John reported during the June 25th Blue Bird Trail survey, that the Long Beach weather continued to be hot and humid.

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #17 – June 25, 2010:

Box #1 – 2 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 2 Blue Bird babies.

Box #2 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 1 sterile Blue Bird egg. – Last week: – 5 Blue Bird babies.

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

Box #4 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: – 4 Blue Bird babies.

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

Box #6 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 4 blue bird babies.

Box #7 – 3 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 3 blue bird babies.

Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

Box #9 – No activity. – Last: Removed nest, no activity.

Box #10 – Removed straw, no activity. – Last week: Some straw in box.

Box #11 – No activity, removed nest. – Last week: Nest, will remove next week if no activity.

Box #12 – 4 Blue Bird babies. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

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

2010 Season Totals: 44 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 17 Blue Bird babies, 7 blue bird eggs (several of these will be sterile).

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John reports on July 4th: “Really wet on the north end of campus. The ground is ‘sour’ (as the old timers say). It smells like the ground smelled after Katrina. Yuk! There is some discrepancy in the numbers. As I have explained before, it is sometimes hard to tell how many babies/eggs there are in a nest. For instance, last week, I counted 2 babies and 2 eggs in Box #1. This week there was nothing in the box, so I am counting that at 4 babies flown. Not really sure, but you have to make a decision. I’d rather err on the positive side.”

Here are the Blue Bird Trail Survey results for Week #18 – July 4, 2010:

Box #1 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 2 Blue Bird babies.

Box #2 – No Activity. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 1 sterile Blue Bird egg; removed nest, cleaned box.

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

Box #4 – 5 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, removed old nest, cleaned box. (John reports: this is another change, last week reported 4 babies, there were actually 5 eggs at the start, I just couldn’t count all the fat babies, so I thought there were only 4 of them). – Last week: – 4 Blue Bird babies.

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

Box #6 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 1 sterile egg, removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 4 blue bird babies.

Box #7 – 3 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, 2 sterile eggs, removed old nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 3 blue bird babies.

Box #8 – 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, removed nest, cleaned box. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies.

Box #9 – No activity. – Last: Removed nest, no activity.

Box #10 – No activity. – Last week: Removed straw, no activity.

Box #11 – No activity. – Last week: No activity, removed nest.

Box #12 – New straw. – Last week: 4 Blue Bird babies flew from the nest, removed old nest, cleaned box.

Box #13 – New nest. – Last week: Some straw in box.

2010 Season Totals: 64 blue bird babies have flown the nest so far; currently in nesting boxes: 4 blue bird eggs.

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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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It’s Week #5 already in the 2010 Survey along the South Mississippi Blue Bird Trail, in Long Beach.

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Blue Bird juveniles from the 2009 hatch.

Long Beach Blue Bird Trail Founder, John Lipscomb, Pass Christian, reports that Blue Bird activity in the nesting boxes along the trail, remains slow, way behind last year.

John reported right after the Friday, April 2 Survey, there were only 4 eggs so far in the 13 nesting boxes, although he did record 7 additional completed nests in the boxes during the survey. He advises that last year at this time in the season, there were already 22 birds hatched and 9 eggs in the nests.

John commented a couple of days after the Friday survey, “I am expecting the activity to heat up this week, as there are lots of nests now, and the weather is warmer.”

He added, “I saw an alligator last weekend, in the bayou right behind my home, so the temps are getting right.”

Trail nesting box results during the April 2 survey, included:
Nesting Box #1 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #2 – 4 Blue Bird eggs.
Nesting Box #3 – No activity.
Nesting Box #4 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #5 – No activity.
Nesting Box #6 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #7 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #7 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #9 – Some grass in box.
Nesting Box #10 – Twigs in box.
Nesting Box #11 – No activity.
Nesting Box #12 – Nest built.
Nesting Box #13 – Nest built.

Have a great week!

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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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