County Coordinator Notes

  

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CURRENT COORDINATOR NOTES

Hennepin County UPDATE – June 11, 2024

Hennepin County welcomes new monitors to two trails this season. Dan and Tony are monitoring Arneson Acres in Edina. They started the season with four house locations and four house sparrows. All four were paired houses, so we split up two of the pairs of houses as an experiment, and one bluebird has adopted one of the new locations. They welcomed five new bluebird chicks on June 5. And a tree swallow has successfully challenged a house sparrow in another location. Congrats to Dan and Tony for revitalizing that trail in their first month.
Taylor is the assistant grounds superintendent at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, and he is monitoring the trail at Interlachen Country Club as well as the trails at the Catholic Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery in New Hope, near his home. The Catholic cemetery is a brand new trail, and only half of the houses have been found by any birds, but there was one bluebird nest in May. The Jewish cemetery has been expanded to 10 houses, and there was one bluebird there in May. In the past there were a lot of bluebirds at this trail, so we’re excited for the birds to find the new houses. A huge thank you to Taylor for taking on so many bluebird trails in his first year.
There are also great stories about bluebird successes and other birds, too. Rodney fledged a brood of bluebirds in his backyard, and Bradford and Anita have several bluebird nests at Francis Gross Golf Course in northeast Minneapolis. Stephanie has counted three bluebird nests and three chickadee nests at Bent Creek Golf Course, and she is watching tree swallows and bluebirds compete for houses at West Bush Lake. Cheryl is starting her second year with the Chamonix Golf Course near Lino Lakes and reporting success with bluebirds and tree swallows.  Gael at 9 Mile Creek Watershed District offices is also reporting a bluebird in one of their three houses. One of Jack’s kestrel houses at the Landscape Arboretum has been adopted by a kestrel, which is very exciting. Second nests are starting, and everything looks promising.
 
Brood of chicks from Arneson Acres in Edina

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Lisa McIntire – assistant Hennepin County coordinator
 

Pine County UPDATE – May 30, 2024

Box check yesterday at the St Croix Park – a bear or bears hit 9 of my boxes. Six were swallow nests but lost 8 bluebird chicks and 5 bluebird eggs in the other 3. Most were on one trail where there is 9 boxes in a row. Probably the same bear hit 6 of those.   Since switching most of the boxes over from Peterson style to Gilbertson style, predation from other sources has reduced to zero. But a bear has hit the Peterson boxes in the past.  I’m thinking the bear can hear or smell the chicks in the box. Once it found chicks in one box, it just went down the line, checking the other boxes in the area. None of the swallow boxes had chicks, only eggs; which is still a snack for a hungry bear. A bear hit 2 boxes on the 49ers trail (my neighbors). Both had swallow nests in them. Hopefully as more food sources become available, they’ll leave the boxes alone.  I’ve read about some homemade concoctions that deter bears with a bad smell, so I’ll check into those. There’s not a whole lot one can do about bears.  Last count for the Park Trails was 54 eggs and 38 chicks, 49ers Trail was 10 eggs, no chicks, and Lost Creek Trail was 4 eggs and 5 chicks.

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Jeanne Olsen – Pine Co. County coordinator

 

Hubbard County – May 28, 2024

I’ve had a great BB level of activity for this time of year- all nests have 5 or 6 eggs plus many chickadees. Want to beat my record of 300 this year. 2 nests with white bb eggs.

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Ron Jensen – Hubbard County coordinators

Rice County – May 18, 2024

Blue feathers covering the babies. ❤️

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New Rice County coordinators -Mike & Stacy Shuda

Pine County – May 16, 2024

A crazy winter led into a crazy spring here in Pine County. It makes me wonder what kind of summer we’ll have. Temperatures have been slow to warm up and stay there; lots of rain so far and more windy days than I can ever recall.  My first bluebird sighting was on 3/11/24. Then we got 10 inches of snow after that. Fortunately it melted quickly. The box check on 5/1/24 resulted in 21 eggs from 5 nests so far, from the 48 boxes on the St Croix State Park trails. The Park is doing controlled burns again this year, which should open up more habitat for bluebirds, and I’m looking forward to expanding trails there again this year. The 49ers trail (7 boxes) and Lost Creek trail (3 boxes) had empty boxes excepting one from each that has a nest in it.

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Update from Lost Creek, Pine County Coordinator, Jeanne Olson

 

Nicollet County – May 11, 2024

Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteers Bix and Beth Baker are reviving the bluebird trail at Fort Ridgley State Park. Here are some photos of the present and hoped for what’s to come. We are wishing them much good luck!

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Bix and Beth Baker, Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer

 

Dakota County – May 9, 2024

Daughter and Dad monitoring a bluebird trail at Highland View Park in Burnsville observed this in one of the just installed new BBRP donate nest boxes. Dad took this amazing photo, Thanks!

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Nancy Engel, BBRP board member and Expo Chairperson

 

Ramsey County – May 8, 2024

“I checked my trails this A.M. and things are looking good for a change. I have about 20 eggs between both courses with more to come. The only problem is what you see in the photo below. I have come across this a few times in the years I’ve been monitoring trails, but never found the results until today. It must have happened within the last couple of days since the ants haven’t decimated the eggs yet. Usually, one cannot find what is thrown out of a nest site when you check once a week. In case there are members who have not seen what wrens can do, please post this on the BBRP website site.”

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George Brown, Ramsey County Coordinator
 
Morrison County – May 5, 2024
Wunder Trail
County coordinators Mike Fulford – Morrison Co. and David Schmidt – Dakota Co. replaced 6 nest boxes on the Larry Wunder Trail on CR1 and added an additional 2 boxes to continue the upgrade of this 44 box trail between Pliager and Cushing. 

 

Dakota County – May 3, 2024 – UPDATED – May 22

This spring has been full of surprises here in Dakota county, two different sites in the northern part of the county have report 6 eggs in the first nesting. However, not to be outdone Farmington, County Coordinator Marilyn Suter submitted this photo of one of her nests with 7 eggs. As she said, “lets hope they all hatch and fit in the nest box until fledge time!”  UPDATE – All seven eggs have hatched, now hoping for all to fledge !!!
Marilyn's Trail
Marilyn Suter, Dakota County Coordinator