• 2021 Year in Review

    Red cockaded Woodpeckers at Camp Blanding WMA watermark Jessica Dyszel 20211002 IMG 5556As we start a brand-new year of connecting people with nature, here’s a look back at some of our chapter’s most notable accomplishments of 2021:

    Although we reluctantly concluded at the beginning of the year that it was still not safe to hold in-person meetings or hosted outings due to the pandemic, we continued to offer our monthly Open House events at our Crosby Sanctuary conservation property in Orange Park, giving folks a welcome opportunity to safely get outside on their own in a beautiful natural setting. We hosted nearly 200 visitors at Crosby in 2021 and plan to continue the monthly Open House events indefinitely (excluding June, July, August & December).

    In May, with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, we were delighted to resume our expert-led field trips with an outing at the St. Augustine Road Fish Management Area, one of our favorite birding spots. Other field trip destinations last year included the Pioneer Trail at Jennings State Forest, a fabulous visit to the Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area (Red-cockaded Woodpeckers!), and an excellent outing in partnership with the Amelia Island Bird Club at Egan’s Creek Greenway in Fernandina Beach, where the group saw 50 different species. (Read more...)


     
  • Christmas Bird Count Report

    Audubon's 2021 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is ending soon, and our chapter’s two CBCs for this year are complete. The Clay County East CBC occurred on December 18th, and the Jacksonville count was Saturday, December 26th.

    Ruby throated Hummingbird Clay CBC 20211218 Steve RadunsClay County East compiler Steve Raduns reports that 26 volunteers participated in the December 18th count and recorded 104 different species for the day, including a rare (for this time of year) Northern Parula and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Other standout species observed during the Clay CBC were: King Rail, Virginia Rail, Sora, White-throated Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow. Unfortunately, he says, “There has been a significant amount of habitat loss to the Clay County East CBC circle since last year primarily from construction of the new highway that is passing through the county. There is also a lot of new home construction being built because of this new toll highway.” His team was also prevented from surveying a normally fantastic wading bird rookery site by a wild hog hunting party with many ATVs and hunting dogs converging on the property. Despite the loss of this key location, his team still managed to get 77 species for the day. (Read more...)


     
  • Audubon's Climate Watch Program

    202201 Audubon Climate WatchAudubon’s 2019 “Survival by Degrees” report documented the alarming conclusion of many years of ornithological and climate research: fully two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change. Many species will see their ranges shift as the climate warms and human development reduces suitable breeding habitat. Soon, some species may have nowhere left to go.

    As a result of the report, Audubon initiated several new programs and website features, including their Birds and Climate Visualizer page, which allows you to type in your zip code and see how climate change is predicted to affect the birds that live in your local community.

    Audubon’s Climate Watch Program began after an earlier Audubon report published in 2014 on the impact of climate change on North American birds and has become even more critical since the 2019 report. This community science project aims to test the predictions in the report with volunteers who are documenting specific species’ responses to climate change in their local areas. Climate Watch volunteers survey bird species targeted by Audubon based on climate models and ease of detection. The program is currently focusing on bluebirds, nuthatches, painted bunting, and two species of goldfinch and towhee. (Read more...)


     
  • Upcoming Activities

    Here are our upcoming events for January:

     

    We look forward to seeing you soon!