Our Eastern Bluebird season is not over yet. We have until Aug 9th, but I thought I would send y’all some stats so far. I will report full stats at the end of the year. I also give these stats to the Environmental committee, the Seabrook Island Club, SIB and South Carolina Bluebird Society.
This is just the Bluebirds, but as you know we have had many Carolina Chickadee nests as well. So far:
62 Nest attempts
We have had some nest attempts that no eggs were laid. We have had some eggs not hatch and unfortunately some predation .We have had 6 nests/babies attacked by predators, three of them were snakes for sure. (Poor Jo and Jim Eisenhauer got all three) But this is much better from last year, when 16 boxes had predators. I do believe our baffles are working for the most part.
To all Seabrook Island Birders – The Seabrook Island Bluebird Society is looking for volunteers to assist with the inventory of Bluebird Nesting Boxes for the 2019 Season. Please read the note below from coordinator Melanie Jerome and contact her if you are interested to support this initiative. There are still four team spots available.
A new season is about to begin for the Seabrook Island Bluebird Society. There are lots of Eastern Bluebirds flying around beginning to look for mates and nesting sites right now.
I had mentioned in prior emails, that I was working on getting baffles to deter our predators, and that is going along very well. I have attached a picture of #7 at the Lake house, I hope you can open it.
The Seabrook Island Birders agreed to help pay expenses for this project at the Lake House. And, the Seabrook Island Club has agreed to pay for all the baffles at the two golf courses. The Lake House is almost done. We are moving two of them to see if the Bluebirds might like it better and make a nest this year. The rest all will have baffles. The golf courses are being done by the Maintenance crew at the club. The last update from my contact, was that all the parts were ordered and they would have them on by March 1st. This will be close, because our bluebirds will be checking out their nest sites and moving in really soon in the month of March.
March 8th is the official start of bluebird box monitoring this year. It will end Aug 9.
(MARCH 8-AUGUST 9)
Team Slots are :
March 8- April 26- need 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2, and Lakehouse
May 3-June 21 Need 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2 and Lakehouse
June 28-August 09 4 teams for Ocean Winds, Crooked 1, Crooked 2 and Lakehouse
I am sending this email to official start our volunteers monitor spots schedule. There are 12 team spots. Are you coming back this year to help out? Let me know via email as soon as possible.
It will be first come first pick. 2 spots are already filled by Rob and I and the Aisenhauers. I will try my best to get everyone where they want and the time they want.
Just a refresher:
commitment is once a week to check your route rain or shine. Try to stay on the same day, give or take a day.
document everything you see at the boxes, for example egg colors are important and predation, etc.
fill free to take pictures of issues you see when you’re reporting.
contact me with any issues via text 614-570-3951
Once the schedule is set, I will have buckets ready for monitoring. My front porch pickup and drop off worked really good last year for me.
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
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:
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 email@example.com.
Article submitted by: Melanie Jerome
Photos provided by: Nancy Brown
Following is the 2017 Data from the Bluebird Trail Monitoring efforts.
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)
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.
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
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.