• EagleWatch Volunteers Complete a Successful Season!

    A shoutout goes to all our EagleWatch volunteers for their efforts monitoring our Bald Eagle nests in Northeast Florida for the 2015-2016 season! We had 46 volunteers monitoring 39 nests with 32 successful fledglings. A special thank you goes to Ann Harwood-Nuss for all her volunteer work coordinating the program and keeping it going.

     

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    There is more work to be done and we are getting geared up for the 2016-2017 season. A special training session will be offered on Saturday, September 17 from 10:30-noon at Deerwood Country Club, 10239 Gulf Club Drive, Jacksonville. Be there to become a volunteer and help grow Florida’s eagle population.

    For more information about EagleWatch, see our report under the drop-down menu under Conservation and also go to fl.audubon.org.

     
  • The Audubon Florida EagleWatch Program started in 1992 at the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland and now covers much of the state. Since urban eagle nesting activity in Florida has increased dramatically in the last decades, the Audubon EagleWatch Program seeks to:

    1. Compile data for publication to document urban nesting activity.
    2. Emphasize monitoring of urban pairs to record long-term nesting trends.
    3. Identify potential threats to nesting success since most threats are related directly or indirectly to human activity.

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    Bald Eagle fledglings

    Duval Audubon participates in the statewide program, monitoring nests in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties. The NE Florida program, coordinated by Ann Harwood-Nuss, also covers St. Johns and Putnam counties. The season runs from September to June. In the 2015-16 season in NE Florida there were 46 volunteers monitoring 39 nests. Although 5 deaths were reported, 32 eaglets fledged successfully. Two nests successfully fledged 3 eaglets after EagleWatch intervened when developers were interfering with the nests.

    Despite delisting as an endangered species, eagles clearly still need advocacy and protection. It is estimated that the average fledge rate is 75% across the state and that only 50% of fledglings survive the first year, therefore, net gain is modest (~130). Development is a constant challenge, however, Audubon’s citizen science program is very effective tool with dedicated observers out there after storms, identifying threats, and getting the help to the birds as they need it.

    For more information about Audubon Florida EagleWatch visit fl.audubon.org, Get Involved, EagleWatch.

    Become a volunteer. You can download the registration document from the above site.

    Contact Ann Harwood-Nuss at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 904- 635-9311 for more information about the Duval Audubon program.

     
  • Global Big Day a Success for the Northeast Florida Young Birders Club!

     

    Here’s the latest from Marie Chappell of the Northeast Florida Young Birders Club, on their 2016 Global Big Day outing. Please mark your calendar for the 18th for their next birding adventure!

    The 2016 Global Big Day—May 14th—was the biggest big day in all of birding history so far, with the most bird species seen in one day. The members of Cornell’s Team Sapsucker were by no means the only birders out there; others included well-seasoned birders, casual birders, avid birders, beginning birders, and young birders.

    The Northeast Florida Young Birders Club participated as well. Some of the Club’s members started their Big Day after eight o’clock in the morning; others started before six (okay, I’ll admit it, that was me). But whatever time we started, it certainly turned out to be a memorable day!

    Huguenot Memorial Park was our first stop as a group. We birded with the Duval Audubon Society and had the pleasure of meeting and learning from their trip leader, Judy Jeffas, Joan and Richard Becker and other Audubon members. Of course, there was no lack of birds! Thousands of nesting Laughing Gulls screamed from the dunes. About a dozen Black Scoters snoozed and preened on the sand bars. A young Great Black-backed Gull eyed us suspiciously as we attempted to identify it. An unusual Pectoral Sandpiper showed up amidst some Dunlins. Even a gorgeous American Oystercatcher pair offered great views (although we never did see their chick). As the young birders club left for their next destination, the trip ended with a happy 33 species.

    For more of the story with photos of their Big Day, please click here!

     

     
  • Crosby Sanctuary Kiosk at North Entrance!

    From our Crosby Sanctuary Director, Pete Johnson: A big thanks goes out to Brian Christ of Boy Scout Troop 321 for his Eagle Scout project at Crosby Sanctuary! He and his fellow scouts installed a new kiosk at the north entrance to the Crosby Sanctuary in Orange Park last weekend. Not only did he install the kiosk, but he planned, fund-raised and directed all aspects of the project. Brian showed great dedication and leadership in completing this project!! At the final Crosby Work Day (May 28) before summer break we will put some info on the kiosk and do some trail maintenance into the sanctuary.

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  • Call for Volunteers: Shorebird Stewards Needed!

    Do you like the beach? 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, 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:

    Amelia Island Plantation

    Amelia Island State Park

    Little Talbot Island State Park

    Huguenot Memorial Park

    Anastasia State Park

    Fort Matanzas National Monument

    Summer Haven

    If you would like to become a Shorebird Steward and help ensure the survival of these wonderful shorebirds,

    • contact Audubon Florida’s shorebird stewarding coordinator Chris Farrell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (904) 325-9940, and
    • sign up for the upcoming Shorebird Stewarding Training Session at Huguenot Memorial Park on May 19, 2016 by contacting JaxParks Park Naturalist Shelley Beville at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (904) 251-3229.

    And, join Duval Audubon Society for our upcoming field trip at beautiful Huguenot Memorial Park on May 14, 2016!