A pair of Eastern Kingbirds chose Walsingham Park to spend the summer
and recently fledged 3 chicks.  Eastern Kingbirds are considered rare in
Pinellas County during the summer.  When the birds lingered beyond
migration time, I started looking for nesting activity.  I watched them
fly into a tall, stand alone pine, but had difficult seeing the nest,
even though I knew the spot they were flying to.  The nest was placed on
top of 3 pine cones, making it well camouflaged.  From a distance, Irene
and I were able to watch the chicks being tended to.  We observed both
parents incubating, the chicks being fed, the parent carrying a fecal
sac away, one of the chicks moving to sitting on the side of the nest
and the next day 3 chicks sitting on the branch next to the nest.  At
times we were able to see dragonfly shaped food hanging out of the
mouths of the parents, while flying to the nest.  We watched the parents
chase and attack osprey, fish crows, grackles and other threats to the
chicks that flew any where near the nest.  However, the parents allowed
birds, such as mourning doves, that weren't a threat to their chicks, to
into their staked out area.  Irene will submit a picture or two to Kurt
Radamaker for posting on his web site.

The black vulture nest, at another Mid Pinellas location, produced one
chick that has recently fledged.  One adult and the fledged bird are
currently staying in the general area.  A walk into the nest spot today
revealed the remains of probably one prey, including fur and 2 bones.
The nest spot was totally surrounded with palmettos, canopied by an oak
tree.  A group of these palmetto "trunks" had obvious wear from where
the bird had been moving around and perching low.  The prey remains were
under an opening below one of these trunks and covered from above by
palmetto fronds.  I believe black vultures have some site fidelity.
However, I don't know if they use the same location or just the same
general location.  I'll be watching next year.

A pair of red-bellied woodpeckers reached the incubation stage in a snag
on one of my oaks in the back yard.  A starling regularly visited this
snag and would sing from its end.  One day. the red-bellied woodpeckers
just abandoned the site and the starling was seen going in the hole.
Several weeks later, a pair of red-bellys were back at the hole and
trying again.  After they started feeding chicks, the snag broke off
just above the hole.  They continued feeding the chicks for several more
days and then they just left the site.  I didn't see any birds fledge,
nor have I seen any young birds.  I think a predator got them this time.

Judy Fisher
Seminole, Fl
Located in Mid Pinellas County
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