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President's Message 

By Dave McGuire

For those of you who might have missed my article back in January, this is a reminder that this is the last monthly issue of Keeping Track. Last year the Board decided to offer the newsletter on a quarterly basis. Instead of coming monthly, the next issue will be sent to you in the summer. To tell you the truth, I personally welcome this change. This will allow us to focus more on quality as opposed to quantity when it comes to the content of Keeping Track. We will continue to share the Preserve’s calendar via email each month. 

I am sad to announce that board member Marg Radens has tendered her resignation from the Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Board of Directors. She has been on the Board for quite a while now but has decided to move on. Thank you for your time and service, Marg. You will be missed!


Notices

  • BHNP Amphibian and Reptile Survey
The BHNP Amphibian and Reptile Checklist is currently being revised and prepared for printing. The new checklist will include updated information based on the recently completed yearlong field study. A $200 donation from Shell was a good start to raising funds to cover the cost of printing. Individuals who would like to assist can mail donations to the Friends of BHNP (Please note “herp checklist” on the memo line).
  • Boyd's Bees
Boyd’s Bees honey is available for purchase in the Education Center. This delicious, hyper-local honey is harvested from within the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. The cost is only $5.00 a jar, so come by and pick up one (or more!). 
  • Volunteer news 
Thanks to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and all those who “Gave a Day for the Bay” at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve on March 21st. Nearly half a ton of invasive plants, including air potato, pothos vines and Brazilian pepper were removed!

Preserve Supervisor’s Message

by Barbara Stalbird

I would like to take a moment to introduce you to the newest members to our team. Breanne Haapala and Kinsley McEachern will be new faces you see at the front desk as you enter the preserve. Breanne has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College and Kinsley has a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. Please join us in giving them a warm welcome! 


In the coming weeks you will be able to rent canoes at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. An Eagle Scout has built canoe racks which will be stored at Lake Maggiore Island. Individuals and families will now be able to explore the lake at their own pace. Come out and see the Preserve from a new perspective.


Summer Camp Registration is here!

If you are interested in signing up a child for summer camp, please sign up at the front desk. Questions? Call 727-893-7326

 

The Eagles of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve by Gabe Vargo

Our Boyd Hill eaglets have been growing rapidly. They are both almost fully feathered and nearly as big as the adults. I suspect they are about 10 weeks old as their hatch date was probably just before January 10th. That’s the date that I first saw one of the adults going through feeding movements. I didn’t see the chicks until a week later and they were past the brooding stage with good coats of down. They should be ready to fledge in about two weeks. Hopefully their first flight will be toward Lakewood Estates on the east side of the nest. With I-275 on the west side followed by 34th Street, the potential for disaster increases. Keep good thoughts and fingers crossed.

The Coquina Plaza pair has done it again. In the last issue I noted that this pair has fooled me in the past with seeing one or two eaglets for weeks and weeks only to suddenly see a 2nd or 3rd just before fledging. Well it happened again. I had been seeing only one eaglet for about the last month to five weeks but when I arrived for my last visit one of the adults flew in with a coot or moorhen and up popped TWO 6-8 week old eaglets! Both had primary and secondary feathers about half grown in but otherwise had a full coat of body feathers. They should be at a good stage for the Bald Eagle program on April 4. I’m hoping that they will be heavily into exercising and maybe even hop flights.

You never know how a new pair will do in their first nesting season after one of the members of the pair change. Hopefully all will go well with fledging. It’s always a dice toss when they fledge from cell towers but at least this location doesn’t have to deal with two major roads with heavy traffic. They have done well in the past, if not a little scary when they end up on lower platforms amid cables, wires, and antennas. Let’s hope all goes well again this season.

As I noted last month, the Eagle program is on the books for April 4 at 9:00 a.m. so I hope to see you there!

NEW MEMBERS

WELCOME NEW LIFE MEMBERS 

  • Peter & Karla Kirkwood 

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS 

  • Kathy Cannata & Tina Underwood 
  • Bethany Gosson 
  • Jonathan & Monica Kile 
  • Jane E. Kiser 
  • Rebelee Seward 
  • Matthew Whankweiler 
  • Linda Whitaker

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Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg, FL  33705   727-893-7326

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