• FWC Working to Stop Illegal Bird Trafficking

    Hermit ThrushThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has noted a recent increase in illegal bird trafficking for the pet industry, especially in south Florida, where trapping is believed to be widespread. The damage to Florida's wild birds is immense. FWC's website states: "Birds are lost from the wild population and, in many cases, are seriously mistreated, as birds are killed or injured when illegally trapped."

    In response to this threat to Florida's wild birds, FWC is proposing a new rule that would regulate the use, placement, possession, and transport of bird traps, while allowing for legitimate uses like avian research. Previously, FWC officers have only been able to prosecute when traps were found with the trapped birds actually still inside, but the new rule would allow officers to confiscate empty traps they find in the wild and build a case based on that evidence, giving them more leeway in prosecuting illegal bird trafficking operations.

    Duval Audubon Society supports this new rule as it will provide more protections for our native songbirds, many of which are already imperiled by pollution, habitat loss due to development, and climate change impacts.

    FWC will vote on the proposed rule at their May 2019 meeting, but we encourage you to provide feedback via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


     

     
  • 10 Easy Ways To Be "Bird Friendly"

    Blanket Flower1. Plant natives in your yard. Native plants support birds (and butterflies and bees, too!) by providing food, shelter, and nesting sites as well as stopover habitat during migration. Native plants also need far less fertilizer and water than their non-native counterparts, reducing your costs!

    2. Reduce or eliminate pesticide use. Pesticides are poisons that are designed to kill all insects that come into contact with them, including the bees that pollinate our plants, and other insects that are a vital food source for many birds.

    3. Install bird feeders to enhance your birdscaping. Give birds a boost during winter and migration by offering black oil sunflower seeds, suet, and other high-energy foods.

    4. Create a water feature on your property. Birds get thirsty, too! A small birdbath, fountain, or pond can quench a bird’s thirst. Birds need water in the winter, too, so make sure you give them fresh water year-round.

    5. Put up birdhouses to encourage nesting. Many birds nest in cavities, but as our communities become more developed, natural holes in old trees are few and far between. Download FREE birdhouse plans at nestwatch.org.

    6. Make your windows “bird safe.” Up to one billion birds die each year in the United States when they hit glass windows, walls, and other structures, making this threat one of the most costly to bird populations. Apply decals to your windows to break up reflections so birds can “see” the windows and avoid them!

    7. Keep your cats indoors. Predation by domestic cats is the number-one direct, human-caused threat to birds in the United States and Canada. In the United States alone, outdoor cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year. Not only will keeping your cat inside help protect birds, but it will also keep your cat safe from threats from other wildlife, car collisions, and other dangers.

    8. Switch to shade-grown coffee. Each cup of shade-grown coffee preserves roughly two square feet of rainforest, critically important habitat for a huge number of migratory birds as well as endemic species.

    9. Become a citizen scientist. Your observations help scientists understand a changing world. Track your work on eBird.org. Every sighting matters - contribute yours! eBird tallies your sightings and archives your photos and sounds—all for free.

    10. Join the Duval Audubon Society. Our mission is to connect people with nature through the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife in Duval, Clay, and Nassau Counties. Our primary focus is on the preservation of a diversity of species and habitats, through education, conservation, environmental leadership and community involvement. We offer a variety of field trips, programs and volunteer opportunities that are open for anyone to attend. Join online at duvalaudubon.org.


     

     
  • Tools Still Needed for Crosby Sanctuary

    IMG 20190223 124238 webThanks to your support, we now have a brush mower and trailer for use in maintaining Crosby Sanctuary. This will make a huge difference in our ability to maintain access and make improvements at the sanctuary.

    However, we do need more tools. Please consider donating your spare (working) yard tools to Duval Audubon Society. Needed are: hand saws, chain saw, edgers, trimmers, shovels, rakes, axes/hatches, gloves and almost any other useful yard tools. Please note: there is no electricity, so we cannot use electric tools unless also battery-operated.

    To donate: bring your tools to Crosby Sanctuary on an upcoming Crosby bird walk/workday (next ones: March 23 and April 27); bring your tools to an upcoming program (next ones: March 11 and April 15) or field trip where they will be passed on to Pete Johnson, Sanctuary Director; or, contact any Duval Audubon Society board member who will arrange for the tools to be collected.

    Thank you for your support!


     

     
  • Looking Ahead

    Fort Caroline Beginning Birders CBWWe have some great field trips, programs and volunteer opportunities lined up for the rest of the 2018/2019 season. Here are some highlights:

    • Our Beginning Bird Walks at Fort Caroline and the Theodore Roosevelt Area are continuing on the first Sunday of every month in partnership with the National Park Service and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
    • On March 11 (NOTE DATE CHANGE), join us for our monthly program at the Charles M. Neviaser Education Institute of Community Hospice: "Microplastics: What's the BIG Deal?" from UF/IFAS Extension Sea Grant Agent (and creator of the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project) Maia McGuire. Light refreshments at 6:30 pm; program starts at 7 pm.
    • Our last quarterly cleanup for the 2018/2019 season will be at Sheffield Regional Park on March 10. Please come help us clean up this excellent birding spot! Contact acting volunteer chair Carol Bailey-White at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
    • We’re hosting a special Birding on the Water outing on Saturday, March 16 with Kayak Amelia. Contact chapter president Jody Willis to reserve your spot: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    • Got bird pics? Join us for our annual "Best of us: Photo Sharing and Potluck Dinner" end-of-season get-together starting at 6:30 pm on Monday, May 20 at  the Charles M. Neviaser Education Institute of Community Hospice. Contact Deb Kainauskas at 904-254-0148 to reserve your spot for sharing your images.
    • Field trip destinations include Alligator Lake Park, Vaill Point Park, Lake Woodruff NWR, and many more! Check our Calendar of Events for more information on all of our activities.

     

     
  • Join our Board of Directors!

    AudubonAssembly 2017Love nature? Want to help share that love of nature with others? Consider applying to join Duval Audubon Society’s Board of Directors.

    Founded in 1939, Duval Audubon Society is a chapter of Audubon Florida and the National Audubon Society. We currently have approximately 1,100 members in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties and are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

    Our chapter is dedicated to the enjoyment of birds and other wildlife. We have a primary focus on the preservation of a diversity of species and habitats through education, conservation, environmental leadership and community involvement. We offer a variety of field trips, programs, and volunteer opportunities that are open for anyone to attend.

    We are an all-volunteer chapter governed by a Board of Directors who work together to determine the activities offered by the organization to further our mission, “Connecting people with nature, conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife.”

    Currently there are three Board vacancies and we encourage anyone interested in serving as a Board member to apply. Board members are expected to attend monthly meetings and participate in chapter activities on a regular basis. Board Officers are appointed for a one-year term, and Directors serve for two years.

    Here is a brief description of the current and upcoming Board openings:

    • The Clay County Conservation Chair (a Director position) works on conservation issues in the Clay County area. This position serves a two-year term but may continue if willing and approved by the Board. 
    • The Education Chair (a Director position) works with the President and Vice President to present educational outreach programs to school groups and other organizations in Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties. The Education Chair serves a two-year term but may continue if willing and approved by the Board. 
    • The Volunteer Chair (a Director position) helps with recruiting volunteers from the chapter membership and the community for chapter projects and activities such as leading field trips, representing the chapter at outreach events, helping with monthly cleanups, and other projects as determined by the Board. The Volunteer Chair serves a two-year term but may continue if willing and approved by the Board.

    If you are committed to helping to connect people with nature, please consider applying to join us in managing our chapter. You don’t have to be a great birder but having a love for nature and a passion for protecting and conserving birds and other wildlife would make you a wonderful addition to our team!

    Send your completed application to Duval Audubon Society President Jody Willis: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or PO Box 16304, Jacksonville, FL 32245.

    Questions? Please feel free to contact Jody or any current Board member.

    Thank you!