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Vol. 4 | No. 6 | December 2011   

 

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November Management Recommendations

Fire Ecology

  • Work on burn plans
  • Plant native warm season grasses

Forestry

  • Plan timber harvests
  • Good month to thin pines.
  • If moisture is sufficient, begin planting containerized pine seedlings.

Game Bird

  • Supplemental Feed at 1-2 bu/ac/yr
  • Plant longleaf or other pines where needed
  • Develop Burn Plans customized for weather, population size and predation risks

Land Management

  • Consider collecting seed from native warm season grasses to reseed other areas of your property.
  • Finish mowing hunting lanes
  • Flood moist soil management ponds for arrival of fall bird migration in November
  • Disk weed fields for brood habitat

Vertebrate Ecology

  • Wintering sparrows arrive in early November and will spend the winter in well burned pine woods. Look for rarities such as Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows causing dogs to go into a point.
  • Bald eagles begin their nesting season in earnest over the next several weeks. Look for spectacular aerial courtship displays.
December Management Recommendations
 
Fire Ecology
  • Develop burn plans with specific objectives for Rx burns.
  • Evaluate last year’s burns on grass flowering and seeding.
Forestry
  • Plan timber harvest schedule for spring. If it will not create problems with other land use priorities this can be a good month to thin pines if needed.
  • Thinning your woods promotes valuable groundcover for wildlife.
  • Continue planting longleaf or other site-specific pine trees as needed.
  • This is a good month to plant native mast-producing trees for attracting wildlife.
  • Include snag retention in forestry harvest operations planning.
Game Bird
  • Supplemental Feed at 1- 2 bu/ac/yr
  • Develop burn plans: high quail numbers this fall indicate need for burn plans that help to maximize quail survival rates. This includes patch burning and stretching burning out from March through April. 
  • Land Management
  • Mow dense hardwood encroachment areas to enhance groundcover.
  • Fertilize fall food plots.
  • Good time to work roads.
  • Disk weed fields for brood habitat now through February.
Vertebrate Ecology
  • Be on the lookout and record nesting locations for birds of prey, such as the bald eagle. Look for nestlings starting to hatch in mid to late December.Take efforts to protect nesting areas from disturbance.
  • Chorus Frogs, Spring Peepers, and other winter-breeding frogs may start to call as early as mid December and reach higher levels of activity in January. 
  • Christmas bird counts are underway in mid December. The counts have provided invaluable trend information that date back to the early 1900s.
  • Sapsuckers arrive in big numbers and start etching away at their sap wells. Individuals can be highly territorial, and wells are passed along from generation to generation.
  • Clean out nest boxes in preparation for spring.

January Management Recommendations

Fire Ecology
  • Develop burn plans with specific objectives for Rx burns.
  • Evaluate fuel loads for burning.
  • Contact local Division of Forestry for proper burn authorizations.
  • Disk fire lanes and prepare all fire breaks for prescribed burning program and to protect against wildfire.

Forestry

  • Check timber harvest schedule for spring. Meet with consultant forester.
  • Include snag retention in forestry harvest operations planning.
  • Continue planting longleaf or other site-specific pine trees as needed.
  • Plant native soft and hard mast-producing trees/shrubs for attracting wildlife.
  • Order pine seedlings for planting next winter.

Game Bird

  • Supplemental Feed at 1- 2 bu/ac/yr
  • Prepare fire breaks to burn 50-75% of area in 25-100 acre patches, depending on weather, populations, and predation. If drought conditions persist carefully check cover conditions. If cover is sparse burn less. 
  • Mow low areas.
  • Complete mowing of hunting lanes.
 Land Management
  • Mow dense hardwood encroachment areas to enhance groundcover.
  • Single-drum roller-chop areas to control woody vegetation and improve herbaceous groundcover.
  • Take soil samples in dove fields.
  • Lime or bottom plow old fields as needed.
  • Install wood duck boxes.
  • Strip disk (harrow) weed fields for brood habitat now through February.
  • Disking now promotes legume production such as partridge pea that are valuable to many wildlife species.
  • This is the peak of wild hog farrowing season.
 Vertebrate Ecology
  • Put old Christmas trees to good use by starting a brush pile near a bird feeder.
  • Chorus Frogs, Spring Peepers, and other winter-breeding frogs  reach higher levels of activity in January. 
  • Put out suet feeders for birds.
  • Clean and erect Purple Martin houses as birds send out scouts as early as January.
  • Clean out nest boxes in preparation for spring.
  • Black bears in North Florida occupy their dens.
The mission of Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is to foster exemplary land stewardship through research, conservation and education.