Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Home | MY HISTORY/BACKGROUND | DO NOW | EXTRA PROJECTS | PROJECT PLANS | OTHER BOXES | PROJECT TRAILS | PUBLIC BB TRAILS | CHRISTY'S MONITOR PHOTOS M 1-5 | M 6-10 | M 11-17 | M 18-25 | M 26-35 | M 36-42 | S 1-ETC | NY HELP | OUR OTHER COUNTY TRAILS | PUBLISHED ARTICLES | PUB PG 2 | STATS 03 | STATS 04 | STATS 05 | STATS 06 | STATS 07 | FLORIDA TRAILS-GROUPS | FLORIDA TRAILS-INDIVIDUAL'S | OUR BUILDERS | BUSINESS SPONSORS | MEAL WORMS | HOUSE SPARROWS | BIRD TIPS | POETRY ETC | LIBRARY BB BOOKS | BOOKS | RELATED LINKS | BATS | BAT 2 | CONTACT ME | Empty

CHRISTY'S BLUEBIRD PROJECT

FLORIDA TRAILS-GROUPS

AVON PARK AIR FORCE BLUEBIRD TRAIL 
       100 BOX 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.

544 BLUEBIRDS FLEDGED IN  2002

527 BLUEBIRDS FLEDGED IN 2004

The Donald Ford Monument is found right before Box #1.  With $1,500.00 in donations and a matching fund, for $3,000.00 the monument was built. 

Avon Park Donald Ford Monument
avonpkmonumentdford00.jpg

Willie & Kacky were married in the military and actually lived on this Air Force Base years ago.  In 1990 they started weekly to monitor with Donald Ford.  And has continued to weekly monitor the 100 box trail ever since.

Willie & Kacky 10 Year Monitors
AvonParkMonitorsWillieKacky.jpg

*     *     *     *     *     *
 
HARDEE COUNTY  
ONA, FL 25 BOX TRAIL 
John Maddox  Monitor

Yearly Trail Reports:
 
1995  10 Boxes   26 Fledged
1996  16 Boxes   65 Fledged
1997  17 Boxes   85 Fledged
1998  25 Boxes  151 Fledged
1999  25 Boxes  150 Fledged
2000  25 Boxes  155 Fledged
2001  25 Boxes  131 Fledged
2002  25 Boxes  175 Fledged
2003  25 Boxes  169 Fledged
2004  26 Boxes  165 Fledged

The Hardee County Bluebird Trail is found just a few miles from the East county line of Manatee County.  Located on the University of Florida Cattle Experimental Range.  The boxes are all hand made and on a 1 1/4 thick walled PVC pipe.  The predator guards are 4" PVC which Mr. Maddox says are really useless and would like to see the guards replaced.  Predators are not really a problem on this Trail.  There boxes are from 1 to 15+ years old.  They tried before to place them on other roadways, but found that the boxes were just disappearing. 
 
There is one other couple who monitor the Trail but all would like to step down from all these years of monitoring.  The local Audubon has disbanded and there are no young to take over.  If you are interested in Monitoring or helping, please call me.

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.

Inside Donald Ford Monument
AvonParkBBMonument.jpg
Willie & Kacky Monitors

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 they prefer to use the nesting cups.  He justs lifts each of them out to take a look and sets them back.  The cups also save them in cleaning.

Willie Holding Baby Birds
avonpkwilliebb.jpg
Notice The Nest in one of Finch's Molded Cups

* * * * * *
HardeeCountyJMaddox.jpg
John Maddox Trail Monitor

HardeeCountyBox0.jpg