Welcome to Duval Audubon Society
Serving Clay, Duval and Nassau Counties
Connecting people with nature, conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife.
We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society. We have a membership of about 1,500 and hold monthly meetings in Jacksonville from September to May. We offer field trips, programs, workshops and other activities throughout the year. Under the drop down menu, you will find our calendar of events. We hope you'll join us!
Please Donate to Duval Audubon!
As a volunteer-run non-profit, we are grateful for your donations. Every contribution helps to continue our work in Northeast Florida!
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION (#CH4724) AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR DUVAL AUDUBON SOCIETY, A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION, MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
Save birds this summer - with each trip to the beach!
National Geographic in collaboration with Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Life International is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that has saved so many birds but is currently under attack at the national level. Additionally, more than 100 other organizations that work to protect birds and their habitat have joined the campaign. Each month these organizations will feature stories about birds, conservation efforts and how you can help. Read about why birds matter. Take the pledge and then #BirdYourWorld!
What can you do to participate in Year of the Bird this month? Plant bird friendly plants! Birds often rely on plants in our yards, balconies, and other spaces for habitat and food and the best plants to provide this are those native to your area. To know the best plants for your area, search Audubon’s native plants database by your zip code. You can even search based on the birds you want to attract and the type of plants you want in your garden. By growing the best bird-friendly plants for your area, you will attract and protect the birds you love while making your space beautiful, easy to care for, and better for the environment—and this month is the perfect time to get started. Learn more and find your plants here.
Sign up for The Advocate!
Sign up for The Advocate, a once-a week publication by Audubon Florida during the Florida Legislative session that will keep you up-to-date on what’s happening in the Florida government concerning conservation. Bills being introduced in the House and Senate, and the Audubon take on these bills are discussed as are any measures you can do to help influence your Legislators. Sign up now by going to fl.audubon.org. Enter your email address at the botom of their home page. The Advocate will come directly to your email every Friday.
Call for Volunteers: Shorebird Stewards Needed NOW for local beaches!
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, Least Terns, 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:
If you would like to become a Shorebird Steward and help ensure the survival of these wonderful shorebirds,
- sign up to be a volunteer at this link.
- check St. Johns Audubon web site for upcoming bird steward training sessions.
Help our nesting coastal waterbirds by keeping your distance!
This time of year beachgoers, fishermen and boaters are enjoying our coastal areas in northeast Florida. It’s also the time of year when our shorebirds are nesting. Some shallow beach nests and eggs are well-camouflaged. Even small chicks can be easily overlooked and stepped on. We have a decreasing population of several species so awareness can be critical to their reproduction success. Keep your distance. Do not allow your children to run and cause the birds to take flight. Eggs and chicks become vulnerable to our hot sun and predators when a parent is forced to leave their nest from disturbance.
Northeast Florida has several new critical wildlife areas that may not be marked off yet. Please be aware to not disturb the birds if vising these areas. There are four CWAs posted for waterbird nesting: Fort George in Duval County, Matanzas Inlet in St. Johns County, Nassau Sound Islands in Nassau and Duval counties, and Amelia Island in Nassau County.
For photos and more tips of making this a great nesting season, go to https://flic.kr/s/aHsjyK5nad
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.
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