Young Birder Goes to Camp!
As part of our Youth Initiatives Program, Duval Audubon sponsored a teen, Samantha Jones, to attend Camp TALON’s 2017 summer session. Camp TALON ((Teen Adventures Learning Ornithology and Nature), located in Georgia, focuses on improving one’s birding skills and knowledge of coastal ecology. Samantha, who is also a member of our Northeast Florida Young Birders Club, reports the following about her experience:
As a birder, we can all relate to the feeling of wanting to go anywhere and everywhere to spot every bird known to man. When I found out about the opportunity to go birdwatching for six days with other teenagers with the same interest, I didn’t hesitate to look further into it. Although it was my first time joining a group for an overnight stay (more like a week-long stay), I think it’s safe to say that I was excited to learn more about ornithology.
Finally, the day had come for me to begin the trek to Epworth by the Sea in southern Georgia, where I would be staying with several other campers. When I got there, I was happily greeted by the two camp counselors, Mrs. Julie Duncan and Mr. Bob Sargent, who would take us to multiple nature preserves throughout Georgia. Needless to say, the camp itself was spectacular, with excellent food and friendly employees.
Those six days were spent traveling to different parks like Little St. Simons Island, Sapelo Island, Harris Neck NWR, and other different habitats. Many birds, common and rare, were seen at the different places. Some of the most notable ones were Yellow-breasted Chat, Wilson’s Plover, and Osprey.
To my pleasure, not only did we birdwatch, but Mr. Sargent shared his extensive knowledge on other organisms from plants to marine creatures that inhabited the Eastern coast.
We also had a guest speaker join our hikes and teach us in-depth about ecology and how every organism has its place in nature.
On April 2 at The BookMark at Neptune Beach, the Northeast Florida Young Birders Club made its appearance at a very special event—the David Allen Sibley book signing. Mr. Sibley told us about some additions to his new Sibley Birds East (including the parasitic Pin-tailed Whydah, which now breeds in Florida) and overviewed several incredible bird behaviors and mysteries which still fascinate him (do you know exactly where the Chimney Swift winters?).
And, of course, we had our Sibley books signed. We even got a photo with this nationally-renowned birder and got to ask him a few questions. All in all, we had a great time, and we’re looking forward to the next event together!
Speaking of the next event, don't forget the Global Big Day, an international birding extravaganza on May 14th! Meet us with the Duval Audubon Society at Huguenot Memorial Park at 8:00 AM (see Activities > Calendar of Events for more details). We're looking forward to it, and we hope to see you there.
Join the Northeast Florida Young Birders Club!
The Northeast Florida Young Birders Club (NEFLYBC) meets monthly at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (auditorium in the Education Campus) every third Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. If you're interested in our club, come join us!
Membership is $20 annually, but those interested can attend their first meeting for free!