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BUBBA SPEAKS  # 10,    


By now, the second week in August, the heat of the summer is past (?) and the shorter days are indicating we are thru most of our nesting season.  It has been an interesting season to this point.  So many things have happened but I will save those thoughts for our fall newsletter.  I am anxious to summarize the numbers fledged and compare that to previous years.  I expect we will see a nice increase in numbers fledged thanks to the efforts of our County Coordinators.  That is where our success can most be observed.  Southern NJ is a hub of activity as I continually get reports from the monitors and coordinators (Jim Watson, John Layton, Dave Gilcrest, Gail Fisher, Laura Stone, Lori Jo Jamieson, Mike Golla, Mary Watkins). Each of these people have their own list of people who are so dedicated. Thank you all so much, you make my job easier.

We are getting a good number of third nestings in boxes, more than usual.  I have over 20 boxes with third clutches This is a good sign of the health of the bluebirds, food supply and more importantly our efforts to benefit bluebirds in New Jersey.  While most activity will cease in August, I would not be surprised to see some activity continue into September.  

Save the date: 11/11/17.  We are planning our annual NJBBS meeting at the Forest Resources Education Center (FREC), 495 Don Connor Blvd, Jackson, NJ.  It will be held the second Saturday in November from 10 to 2.  More info to follow as we get closer to that day.  For those of you I do not get to see often, you can pick up your NJBBS laminated logos to place on boxes in prominent locations to acknowledge who we are and what we are doing.  Thanks so much to Gail Fisher who is responsible for the idea and her work with Stuart Smith of Arc Reprographics, Inc. in Absecon, the company that produced the box logos.  I am very impressed with how these came out, the message they convey, and how they will benefit the NJBBS in the future.

Keep up the good work and please fill out our summary form after the season to report your bluebird productivity this season. Each and every box is important, whether multiple boxes on a trail or a single box in the back yard  -  please submit your results.  This form is our only way to monitor bluebird activity.

We will be working on  our Jersey Blues fall issue.  If you have any stories or articles you would like to submit, please consider that.  Your input is important!

Contact me if you have any questions.  I am always available to help you.

Allen Jackson



By now many of you have started doing nest monitoring.  The winter was relatively mild and nesting activity is progressing fast and furious.  Many partial nests, some full nests, some nests with eggs and yes, the first brood of young were banded by Gail Fisher (Cape May County Coordinator) Friday April 14 at Brett Palmer’s property in Petersburg. This is not the first time Brett’s bluebirds have been the first reported nesting.  Brett has a large and successful Purple Martin along with his bluebird boxes.  He is one of the most successful martin and bluebird landlords in New Jersey.  One potential advantage is he feeds live meal worms to his birds in addition to being a strong advocate for proper management.  Conse-quently his birds are in prime condition.  Last year his bluebird’s were the first to lay eggs (6 of them to be exact) and it is not uncommon to have 3 broods during the nesting season.  Congratulations to Brett and thanks for being such a great landlord.

Incidentally, I just got a leg band report of a bluebird banded at Stoddard and Marjory Bixby’s just down the road from Brett.  A young chick banded July 2, 2015 was recovered the week of April 10, 2017 on Union Road in Vineland, a distance of about 15 miles as the crow flies.  Most recoveries average about 2-4 miles from their natal site.

The NJBBS is still looking for a Secretary to replace Shelly Cucugliello.  Shelly is available to provide guidance and direction to anyone interested in assuming the position.  Many of us take an active role in the NJBBS but we continue to need participation from members to make our organization a success.  Please consider stepping forward to help.  For instance Lori Jo Jamieson volunteered to be editor of our newsletter, Jersey Blues.  What an awesome job she has done producing the past 2 newsletters.  She always appreciates receiving articles and photographs from all members.

Believe it or not, we have added approximately 100 bluebird boxes to our trail system in southern NJ.  Our mission to benefit bluebirds is evident as bluebirds are becoming more common in NJ.  People are beginning to take notice of our accomplishments and the program continues to slowly grow.

Tick season is also upon us.  My experiences are this may be a bad year so make sure to use spray and check yourself after being doing your nest checks.  I have had 8 tick bites in 4 field trips to monitor nests.  Wrapping my pant legs with duct tape and using a repellent are now part of my normal preparation before I venture into the field.

Happy Bluebirding!