• New Monthly Feature: Native Plants for Birds

    Birds are nature’s messengers and today they are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change and habitat loss. Pollinators like bees, butterflies and other insects are suffering severe losses as well.

    In the face of these threats, you can help birds and pollinators by making your yard more bird friendly. If you don’t have a yard, you can still help by creating a native plant container garden on your patio or balcony. Even a very small patch of habitat can provide hungry birds with what they need during migration.

    To help you create bird friendly habitat in your landscape, we will be posting a native plant each month which is beneficial to birds and pollinators.

    Our first plant is:

    American Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana):

    AmericanBeautyberry 20181002This shrub grows 5-6 feet tall and prefers light exposure of part sun to full shade. It is tolerant of drought and cold weather and is one of the best plants to attract birds to your yard. It is deciduous in our area (meaning that it drops its leaves in winter). It readily spreads by self-sown seed in the garden or from cuttings. Since beautyberry scarcely branches above the base, it should be cut back in the late winter after the leaves are gone. This keeps it compact and results in vigorous young growth that flowers and fruits heavily. The blooms are small, clustered pale purple flowers which appear in the late spring and summer and attract butterflies. In the fall, beautiful lavender berries grow clustered on the stems and remain throughout the winter, if they are not devoured by the migrating and resident birds! Birds that will eat the berries include: wrens, sparrows, vireos, mockingbirds, cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees, waxwings, and nuthatches.

    For additional information on native plants for birds, check out Audubon's excellent Plants for Birds website: Audubon.org/plantsforbirds.

    These native plants nurseries in our area do not have a storefront, but can get plants for you on request:

    If you are not opposed to ordering online, Mail Order Natives is an excellent source for native plants. They are located in Lee, Florida.

    In addition, the Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society often has native plants as well as cuttings available at their monthly meetings. They are on summer break right now, but in September will resume their meetings on the first Tuesday of each month. Check out their Events Calendar for all of their upcoming activities.

    --Jody Willis, President, Duval Audubon Society


     
  • Summer Volunteer Opportunities

    VolunteerEven though we are on summer break right now, there are still plenty of ways for you to help protect birds and wildlife all summer long! Check out these fun ways to get involved and make a difference in our area this summer:

    Shorebird Stewarding:
    Like birds? Like the beach? We have just the opportunity for you! The Timucuan Shorebird Partnership is looking for bird stewards to help our imperiled shorebirds nest safely! All you need are a few hours to spend at nesting sites and a desire to help the public share the beach responsibly with our feathered friends. Shorebird stewarding locations in our area include Huguenot Memorial Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Amelia Island State Park, and Fort Clinch State Park.

    If you want to help shorebirds this summer, contact Audubon Florida's Northeast Florida Policy Associate Chris Farrell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

    Your stewardship is greatly needed and sincerely appreciated!

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    Friday Mornings in Jax Parks:
    JaxParks, in partnership with the Timucuan Parks Foundation, is seeking volunteers to participate in a series of volunteer projects on Friday mornings throughout the summer. Click the links for more info:

    For all projects, volunteers must wear closed-toed shoes and it is highly recommended that they bring work gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and water in a reusable water bottle.

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    St. Johns RIVERKEEPER Monthly Cleanups:
    St. Johns RIVERKEEPER's young professionals group The Rising Tides hosts monthly cleanups on McCoys Creek, a major downtown tributary to the St. Johns River. Everyone is welcome!

    All Rising Tides cleanups are Rain or Shine, and participants must wear closed-toed shoes, and should also bring sunscreen, bug spray, work gloves, a hat, sunglasses, and water in a reusable bottle.


     
  • Urge Congress to Support Climate Solutions

    From Audubon's Action Center:

    Aud APA 2018 Wood Duck A1 6804 5 KK Photo Susan Ward 800x800Audubon's science shows that almost half of North American bird species are threatened by climate change. The survival of some of our most beloved species is dependent on our ability to quickly and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in part by shifting to clean energy sources.

    Ask your elected officials to support the Better Energy Storage Technology Act of 2019! The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act of 2019 invests in the innovative technology needed to make the transition to clean energy sources.

    Click here to take action on this important issue today!


     
  • Join our Team!

    DAS board CrosbyLove 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 two 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 our current Board openings:

    • 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!


     
  • New Monthly Program Location

    Lakewood PresbyterianStarting with our September 16, 2019 program, our monthly program meetings will be held at Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 2001 University Blvd W, Jacksonville, FL.

    We will continue to hold our monthly program meetings on the third Monday each month. Meetings will start with refreshments and networking at 6:30 pm, with program presentations starting at 7 pm.

    Many thanks to Community Hospice & Palliative Care for allowing us to use their lovely meeting rooms for the past two years. And a special shoutout to board member Deborah Kainauskas for all her hard work facilitating the meetings for us. Thanks, Deb!