The year 2004 in
Florida, will be remember as the year of 4 direct hits from Hurricanes. Our central/southern area of Florida had
three hurricanes directly go through our Bluebird breeding areas. Our Project has over 80 reporting Monitors of
over 800 boxes, and all Trails were affected in some way.
Months went by and
we did not know what condition our Trails were in. Locally many Monitors had taken in their boxes, but many of their
properties lost hundreds of trees. Hardest hit was the area of Arcadia and Ona, FL., where boxes just
disappeared or were destroyed, but I have to say, the damage was not as bad as we first thought it would be.
FL has a 100 box Trail at the Air Force Base, which was found to have 95 predator guards damaged. At
the end of 2004 the prison welding classes will be rebuilding all new guards for that Trail.
As of 2005 still
no words from Tampa, FL and the two Trails of a total of 80 boxes. In Wildwood, FL the Monitor had trouble
with boxes before the storm, but now says that about 25 of her boxes need replacing.
All through the
storm I posted to the
was happening to us, but little did I know how bad the destruction was going to be in our areas. Judy Derry from
NY always stayed in contact and sent postive e-mails to me. Much later came the e-mail where she told me that
the New York State Bluebird Society would be donating boxes to help with what might have been lost in our area.
The 25 first boxes
were delivered by Ron and Dot Howe, and our Ona Monitor, John Barrows met him to pick up the box kits. John
was very excited to have the help because at that time he was sure nothing could be left of his Trail, which was in the direct
path of the eye.
The next boxes which
made a total of about 6 dozen box kits where delivered by Marsha Smith and Piers Branham. Look at that car full
of boxes!. When they arrived in Florida they had time to put all the kits together, which is helping me greatly.
As of now Ken Nauman,
the Monitor of the Arcadia Trail, which was also in the direct path of the eye of the hurricane, has come and picked
up 15 boxes. He really loved the new boxes, thinking they were really well made, and that having the boxes were going
to help in replacing his Trail. The town of Arcadia was very badly destroyed.
There are about
16 miles between the two Trails, and this is an area that needs Bluebird developing. We are hoping to try to connect
the two Trails and making a Hurricane Memorial Trail. John's Trail extending more South, and Ken's going
I still plan on
working on finding those in the Wachula, FL area where John lives of more people who actually lost their bird boxes.
Most people, in the country, do not realize that there is still so much destruction and damage, that people are more concerned
with getting their homes back to normal. It is going to take time to find those deserving, and ready again to be involved
Tampa did report
in, and came and took 15 boxe.
Actually the New
York Bluebird Society has gone beyond in meeting the needs of Bluebird Hurricane damage in our area.
Gulf Breeze, FL
where Phil had a three year established Bluebird Trail, it was totally wiped out. New York has also
delivered boxes to Phil. Destruction was very bad in his home's immediate area. Phil's home will not be livable
again for two years from this storm. The golf course where the Trail was is having to be totally repaired.
Herm Bressler of
NY, has made thousands of these Bluebird boxes, which are just beautiful. I thought making a hundred in a year was something,
but he makes them by the thousands! Wow! I hear he has helped many many people from his woodworking talents.
Keep on going Herm!
I can't say
Thank You enough to the New York State Bluebird Society. Everytime I look at the boxes, I am so thankful
that we received their help. The 2005 year is going to be right on track. All exsisting Monitors are pretty much
going to be set for the beginning of the Bluebird breeding season. All donated boxes will eventually go out, but I want
to make sure, because there were so many, that all boxes go where they are needed and going to help the most.