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AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE .... 100 BOX BLUEBIRD TRAIL

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Florida Bluebird Trail found at Avon Park Bombing Range and Air Force Base. Started 1970 now a 100 Box Bluebird Trail all with predator guards, and weekly monitoring.
 
Willie and Kacky Williams Monitors
Member: 
NABS - North American Bluebird Society
 
 
Participant in:   Christy's Bluebird Project

Click Here to go to: CHRISTY'S BLUEBIRD PROJECT

AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE BLUEBIRD TRAIL

Started 1970 by Donald Ford

The Bombing Range is located at the very end of State Road 64. So 30 miles below Tampa, FL you should find SR 64 coming out of Bradenton, FL, follow that to the middle of the state and it actually dead ends at the gate. The gate is to the Avon Park Correctional Facility, and also Youthful Offender Facility. The Bluebird Trail starts on the other side of the military airfield. The day I visited the airfield was on lockdown because of one of the terrorist alerts. We were given a military escort through the airbase and across the airfield to the monument.

The 100 Box Trail was built from metal piping of the old watering system used in the orange groves, which used to be there. The boxes are all purchased boxes from Jack Finch, of the Finch Bluebird Boxes. The predator guards are very large circular heavy metal welded pieces which were made by the prisoners. At first the prison system said they would make 30 but Donald Ford made a promise that he would get 600 Bluebirds for them in a year if they would make 100 guards. It was agreed and the correction system donated the guards. I believe only once have they reached that total but do make it to over 500 Bluebirds per year.

Willie and Kacky faithfully monitor the boxes weekly. It was only until 2002 that they had to make it a two day task. Kacky drives a park truck and takes the notes, and Willie jumps in and out of the truck. Willie uses sign language for what he sees which makes for faster monitoring.

There is one more individual who does help monitor at times. Both Willie and Kacky after 12 years of monitoring, are ready to retire. But they do not really have anyone to carry on the monitoring. In their area they do give talks on Bluebirds and raise money for replacement boxes, but they have never involved the young or youth to get involved with Bluebirds.

Willie & Kacky Williams Monitors
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Donald Ford Founder Memorial Trail
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Willie & Kacky Monitors

Inside the monument are windows about Donald Ford and maps of the 62 miles of Bluebird Trails. Plus information about Bluebirds. In 1970 only 17 boxes were put up and maintained by the Boy Scouts.

The Memorial was built from $1500.00 in Donations and a matching grant for a total of $3000.00.

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Donald Ford Memorial

Willie is showing some of his baby Bluebirds from a second nesting. The box bottoms are up about 5 1/2' and Willie is a short fellow. That is why he prefers to use the nesting cups. He justs lifts each cup out to take a look, and can just set the cup back into the box. The cups also save them in cleaning out the boxes. All they do is empty the cups.

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2005 TOTALS
 
747 Total Eggs
601 Total Babies
527 Total Fledged
 68  Total Unhatched
   6  Total Missing

Mailing Address:

Willie & Kacky Williams
2015 N. Sharon Rd
Avon Park, FL 33825

Phone: 863-453-6026