2018 Eastern Bluebird Trails Summary

The Seabrook Island Bluebird Society was started on Seabrook Island to help the Eastern Bluebird (see our “Bird of the Week” blog from 2016 to learn more about the Eastern Bluebird). The 2018 nesting season has come to an end.

If you didn’t know, the Eastern Bluebird is a small member of the thrush family that inhabit fields and clearings. Although pesticides and competition from house sparrows in the early and mid-20th century negatively impacted bluebirds, they have recovered well in recent years and are stable or increasing both as breeding birds and wintering birds. Much of this recovery is thanks to concerned citizens who put up bluebird boxes in their fields for these birds to nest in.

Seventy-three bluebird boxes were installed and are located along Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds golf courses, the Lake House and Sunset Pier. Melanie Jerome took over the leadership of the Bluebird Society in 2018 from Dean Morr. The  main focus is to monitor nesting of bluebirds and any other bird species using the boxes. This is done from March through August by a group of 13 hard working volunteers. They check the boxes once a week, keeping track of activity of all birds documenting by box the number of eggs laid, hatched and fledged. Once fledged, the boxes are cleaned of all nesting material so they available for another brood of birds.

The 2018 statistics for our Seabrook Island Eastern Bluebirds are:

  • 99 nests built
  • 389 eggs laid
  • 246 eggs hatched
  • 226 fledged

This is a 58% fledge success. We also have had 21 nests from Carolina Chickadees, with 74 eggs laid, and 55 fledged. We had a predation problem from snakes and raccoons this year and the 2019 goal is to obtain baffle guards on some of the poles to prevent the predation issue.

To compare to results from previous years, see the chart below:

Trail Name Bluebird Carolina Chickadee
2018 RESULTS # Boxes No Activity Nest
Attempts
Eggs Hatched Fledged Nest
Attempts
Eggs Hatched Fledged
2018 Totals 73 6 99 389 246 226 21 74 55 55
2017 Totals 73 5 89 318 183 175 26 98 82 82
2016 Totals 73 3 99 386 360 359 28 126 106 106
2015 Totals 73 7 76 318 259 259 39 136 104 102
2014 Totals 67 10 63 252 219 203 28 113 85 83

I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their help, we couldn’t do it without you. If you are interested in helping with the bluebirds, please contact Melanie at seabrookbluebirds@gmail.com.

Article submitted by:  Melanie Jerome
Photos provided by:  Nancy Brown

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2017 Bluebird Trail Monitoring Results

Following is the 2017 Data from the Bluebird Trail Monitoring efforts.

Bluebirds:

  •   Nest Attempts: 89 (vs 99 in 2016)
  •   Eggs: 318 (vs 386 in 2016)
  •   Hatched: 183 (vs 360 in 2016)
  •   Fledged: 175 (vs 359 in 2016)

Carolina Chickadees:

  •   Nest Attempts: 26 (vs 28 in 2016)
  •   Eggs: 98 (vs 126 in 2016)
  •   Hatched: 82 (vs 106 in 2016)
  •   Fledged: 82 (vs 106 in 2016)

This year, predators (snakes and raccoons) destroyed 34 nests (nest building, eggs, young or parents) which although we had good numbers of nest attempts compared to prior years, would account for most of the drop in the number of eggs, hatched and fledged from 2014 thru 2016. There is no inexpensive solution to keeping predators out of our 73 monitored boxes, but it is being researched further.

There were 6 boxes with no activity this year (compared to 3 in 2016 and 7 in 2015). All boxes with no activity this year had activity last year.

Thank you to the 49 volunteers on the roster and especially to the 21 volunteers for their monitoring efforts and continued support of the Seabrook Island Bluebird Society. We look forward to a successful 2018 Season.

If you would like to learn more about the Seabrook Island Bluebird Society, please check out the information on our website.

Dean Morr
Seabrook Island Bluebird Society
SeabrookBluebirds@gmail.com

2016 Bluebird Monitoring Results

Eastern Bluebirds - Charley Moore
Eastern Bluebirds – Charley Moore

Attached are the final results of the 2016 Eastern Bluebird Monitoring Session. You will note I have added lines for overall comparison with 2015 and 2014.

Fledged Eastern Bluebirds were up 100 over the 2015 monitoring session and Carolina Chickadees up 2 while boxes with no activity were down to 3, one of which was temporarily removed behind the Lake House. It will be reset in 2017.

 If you are interested to learn more about the Seabrook Island Bluebird Society or even join the group, please check out the information on our website: SIB / SI Bluebird Society

Submitted by Dean Morr
Photo by Charles Moore

2016-bluebird-monitoring-summary-stats

2016 Bluebird Society Kick-off Meeting

SIBS Logo

The kick-off meeting for the 2016 monitoring season of bluebird boxes will be February 24th at 4:00pm in Osprey 2 at the Lake House.

We will again be monitoring the 3 trails on the golf courses plus the Lake House trail. Monitoring will be divided into 3 sessions of about 8 weeks starting March 20th and concluding August 31st. A sign-up sheet will be available at this meeting if you are interested in a monitoring session of one of the trails this year.

Last year we monitored 75 boxes that produced 259 bluebird and 102 chickadee hatchlings.

We look forward to seeing you on the 24th.

Dean Morr, Seabrook Island Bluebird Society