Please note dates for our next two exciting programs!
Our programs are normally held the third Monday of the month. However, our December and January programs are the exception. The December program “Eyes on the Sparrow: Innovations in Conservation at White Oak” will be held on Tuesday, December 19th. It will be a fascinating discussion of White Oak's conservation programs with a focus on their role in the collaborative effort of saving the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
Our January program “Birds of Paradise, Jewel-babblers and Paradise Kingfishers - birding New Guinea!” will be on Monday, January 22nd.
Both are listed on our Calendar of Events on this site. We hope you can join us at Charles M. Neviaser Educational Institute of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Rd. #100, Jacksonville, Fl. 32257 for both of these programs.
Urgent Threat to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge still urgently needs your help. Last week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on opening up the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas exploration as a way to generate revenue for the federal tax plan. We must continue to spread the message that this iconic American treasure, which is home to 200 species of birds, should not be opened to exploration. For a more in-depth look at the issue, click here. To send an urgent letter to your members of Congress, asking them to oppose efforts to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling, click here.
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.
Volunteers Needed For a Super Fun Event!
Volunteers are needed for our 4th Annual Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids on January 6 at Camp Chowenwaw from 8 am to 12:30 pm. We need volunteers for registration, field trips (one hour) and Binocular Bootcamp.
The Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids) is a fun, family-friendly birdwatching event that promotes nature appreciation and environmental stewardship. Celebrate birds with youth and their families - while building bird identification skills and contributing to important Citizen Science for bird conservation!
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Rachel Carson, marine biologist and author of Silent Spring.
Costa Rica - Join Us for Introduction to Neotropical Birding
Cost is based on double occupancy; for a single room throughout the trip add $200 per person. A $200 per person deposit and enrollment form are required to reserve your space on the trip no later than November 23, 2017. This deposit is refundable excluding a $100 cancellation fee until December 18, 2017, at which time non-refundable final payment is due. Travel/trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
This project in Nassau County was for the birds!
Our Education Director, Brett Moyer, was the featured speaker for the Callahan branch of the public library's summer speaker series. He gave a presentation on how to attract birds by providing the essentials of food, water and shelter.
Those in attendance also learned about two conservation programs, that of the Eastern Bluebird and the Purple Martin. After the slide presentation, the children participated in a hands-on exercise by making some Do-It-Yourself bird feeders using plastic bottles from the recycling bin, scissors, glue guns, and twine.
Each of the kids and adults in attendance went home with a feeder and a bag of seed donated by the local hardware store.
As we know, part of the joy of birding is passing along what we've learned to the next generation.
Call for Volunteers: Shorebird Stewards Needed NOW for local beaches!
Do you want to help our coastal wildlife survive? Be a part of the statewide effort to help protect Florida’s beach-nesting shorebirds.
It’s that time of year again when Florida’s vulnerable shorebirds are nesting on our beaches and Shorebird Stewards are needed. Did you know beach-nesting birds like Black Skimmers, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns, Laughing Gulls, and Royal Terns lay their eggs on top of the sand and raise their young on our local beaches?
While they are adapted to survive this harsh environment of sun, sand, and salt with protection from their parents, chicks and eggs struggle to survive when beach-goers inadvertently flush parents from their nests. Left exposed to the harsh sun and predators, one disturbance can spell disaster for these vulnerable chicks. Weekends, especially long holiday weekends, can be disastrous for nesting shorebirds and seabirds since the level of disturbance from people, pets, and vehicles is often higher than usual. Under these circumstances, signs posted around nesting areas may not be enough to keep them protected from disturbance; this is when Bird Stewards are especially important.
During their volunteer shifts, Shorebird Stewards keep a watchful eye on nesting areas and work to minimize disturbances by educating recreationists about these vulnerable shorebirds. While doing this important work, Shorebird Stewards can also enjoy up-close-and-personal looks at the fascinating behaviors of these nesting birds, not to mention having a fun day at the beach!
Shorebird Stewarding opportunities are available at several beach locations in Northeast Florida:
If you would like to become a Shorebird Steward and help ensure the survival of these wonderful shorebirds,
- sign up to be a volunteer at this link.
- check St. Johns Audubon web site for upcoming bird steward training sessions.