• For those attending the April program, Mr. Bill Berthet was unable to make it and sends his sincere regrets. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule the program at a future date. Thanks for coming out!

     
  • Busy Beavers at Crosby Sanctuary in Orange Park

    You may be surprised to learn that there are beavers in northeast Florida! North American beavers have taken up residence at Duval Audubon Society’s Crosby Sanctuary in Orange Park, and this time of year they are actively building dams. 

    The southernmost portion of the Crosby property is a swamp that ultimately drains into the Ortega River. Access to the sanctuary is provided by an earthen dike access road that bisects the swamp, and some years ago, two large trenches were dug through the access road to permit drainage between the two sides of the swamp. The beavers are damming up those trenches, creating a major backup of water flow from the west side of the swamp. The photo on the right shows a large pool created by beaver dams all along the line of trees with just a tiny trickle of water flow on the right.

    Volunteer work crews busted all of those dams back in February and within days the beavers had built up the dams again. The real risk is the potential of flooding in the neighborhoods that adjoin the property, especially if there is a major rainfall event, so sanctuary manager Pete Johnson did some research and came up with a way that we hope will leave the dams largely intact but still permit water flow between the two sides. At the March 25th Crosby Sanctuary work day, the crew installed pipes underneath the dams and rebuilt the dams over them. We are optimistic that the water flowing through the pipes under the dam will provide enough drainage through the swamp to prevent flooding, but if this doesn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board, because our goal is to find a way to peacefully coexist with these fascinating creatures.

     

     

     

    Access to Crosby Sanctuary is currently by appointment only, but our ultimate goal is to open this beautiful place to the public.

    If you would like a tour of Crosby Sanctuary please contact Crosby Sanctuary manager Pete Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or vice-president Carolyn Antman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     

     

     

     
  • Local Member Wins Macaulay Library Direct Media Challenge

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    Congratulations to our member, Marie Chappell, for winning the Macaulay Library Direct Media Challenge.

    This challenge began March of last year through the Young Birders Network portal. The challenge was based on submitting qualifying ebird checklists through the portal. If you've seen any of Marie's ebird lists, they are often chock full of information including photographs for documentation.

    Marie is an avid birder and is also a member of our Northeast Florida Young Birder's Club.

    For the full article on ebird, click here.

     

     

     

     
  • The Great Backyard Bird Count results - the best ever!

    This year proved to be the biggest count in the GBBC’s 20-year history! Final results reveal 2017 had the highest number of checklists submitted as well as the highest number of species reported. Worldwide, a total of 5940 species were reported. Closer to home, Florida came in 4th in the U.S. for the highest number of checklists submitted and 3rd with the highest number of species (309) reported.

    The three counties that we serve had active participation as well. Duval participants submitted 252 checklists with a tally of 152 species. Nassau county reported 91 species and Clay reported 79 species. Thank you to all who participated in this citizen-science project!

     
  • The Great Backyard Bird Count 2017

     

    Nineteen years and still growing! The Great Backyard Bird Count was launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. It has now become a global event.

    You may ask why is this important and what is the data collected used for? Scientists have several tools to determine what is happening to bird populations. The data we collect over the years is one of those tools. It shows how a species’ range expands or shrinks over time. A decline in populations can signal that something has changed with their habitat and habitat that we all rely on. It’s important that we pay attention to these changes since they are closely tied to our environmental health.

    The count begins on February 17th through the 20th. You can count anywhere, not just your backyard. Count the birds you see for a least 15 minutes. Then enter your totals online. If you haven’t participated before, you’ll need to create an free online account. For detailed information, go to birdcount.org. Have fun and know that you are participating in a valuable citizen-science project.

    If you want to join an organized field trip, come to Cedar Point Preserve on the 19th.

     

     
  • Florida is growing in leaps and bounds, more than one million more people now than in 2010! It’s hard to miss all the new development. For us and the birds and wildlife, it is our responsibility to ensure that new development happens in the most environmentally safe way possible. Duval Audubon Society will try to keep you informed of related current issues and how you can make your voice heard.

    While you may get alerts from organizations asking you to sign petitions, calling or emailing your representative is much more effective. A call is the best and only takes a minute. You only need to identify yourself and indicate if you support or don’t support the issue involved. If it is a particular bill, the number of the bill should be noted.

    To find out who represents you in government, link to the following websites:

     U.S. House www.house.gov/representatives/find/

                  U.S. Senate www.senate.gov/senators         

     Florida House www.myfloridahouse.gov

                  Florida Senate www.flsenate.gov/senators/find              

     Jacksonville City Council member City Council members

                  Mayor Lenny Curry www.coj.net/mayor-curry.aspx

                  Nassau County Commissioners www.nassaucountyfl.com

                  Clay County Commissioners www.claycountygov.com/about-us/board-of-county-commissioners

    Pending issues:

    Please encourage your Sate Senator to SUPPORT SB 10. This bill authorizes the purchase of land to use for overflow when Lake Okeechobee is full. This land would prevent polluted fresh water from being sent to sea via the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries. When this happened in 2016 it resulted in a massive, toxic blue-green algae bloom. See your current Audubon Naturalist magazine or visit fl.audubon.org for further details.

     
  • Road Show of 2016's Best Avian Photography Coming!

    Roadshow of 2016’s Best Avian Photography Coming to Duval and St. Johns County Wild Birds Unlimited Stores.

    Mark your calendars for this exhibit! Visit the Wild Birds Unlimited Store, Julington Village in Fruit Cove between February 24th and March 4th and the Jacksonville Beach store in the South Beach Regional Shopping Center at the beach end of Butler Boulevard between March 6th and March 16th to walk among the winning bird photographs from this year’s Audubon Photography Awards and learn more about your local birdlife. Selected from over 7,000 entries—submitted from all 50 states, DC, and Canada—the winning photos were published in the May/June 2016 issue of Audubon magazine. A panel of five judges had the daunting task of sifting through the stunning images and grading them based on technical quality, originality and artistic merit.

    Each store is planning a special event around the exhibit. Wild Birds Unlimited at the beaches and Duval Audubon are planning an event on Saturday, March 11. Details to be announced soon. The St. Johns County Audubon Chapter will be hosting a reception at the Fruit Cove store on Monday, February 27 @ 6:30pm to highlight these photos, provide information about the local chapter and its activities, and provide advice on nature photography.

    Grand Prize Winner, Bonnie Block; Bald Eagle and Great Blue Herons

     

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