Audubon Observer, May 2019
HELP OUR MIGRATING AND NESTING SHOREBIRDS
This time of year, beachgoers, fishermen, and boaters are enjoying our coastal areas in northeast Florida.
It's also the time of year when shorebirds undertake some of the most spectacular long-distance migrations of any North American birds. Nearly two-thirds of the species that breed in North America journey to their arctic nesting grounds in the spring after wintering in Central and South America. Red Knots, for example, fly some 9,300 miles from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic, stopping along the Atlantic Coast to rest and feed before resuming their arduous journey. It's critical for them to be allowed to feed without being disturbed - for some, it may make the difference between life and death! Please, keep your distance and don't allow children or pets to run and cause the bird to "flush."
In addition, shorebirds like Royal Terns, Least Terns, and American Oystercatchers are beginning their nesting season on our Northeast Florida beaches. Some shallow beach nests and eggs are well-camouflaged, and small chicks can be easily overlooked and stepped on. We have a decreasing population of several species so awareness can be critical to their reproductive success. Eggs and chicks become vulnerable to our hot sun and predators when a parent is forced to leave their nest because of disturbance. Please take care and stay well away from nesting areas to avoid disturbing the birds.
One way to help Florida's beach-nesting birds is to become a Bird Steward. At beach-nesting sites like Huguenot Memorial Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort Clinch State Park, and Amelia Island State Park, volunteer stewards help ensure beachgoers do not enter fragile nesting areas, and also help educate visitors about the remarkable species that rely on Florida's shores for survival. Audubon will train you on the bird protections and biology you will need to be successful. Interested individuals should like spending time on the beach and interacting with the public.
Contact Chris Farrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Audubon Florida to learn how you can participate!
AUDUBON ACTION ALERT
From the Audubon Action Center:
"Millions of birds are killed every year by colliding with buildings, especially during migration. In fact, studies estimate that between 300 million and one billion birds are killed each year from these collisions, making it one of the top causes of bird deaths.
We have the solutions that can reduce these needless deaths. From turning off building lights at night, to using bird-friendly glass or other materials, or limiting the use of glass, these simple and cost-effective practices can drastically cut down bird deaths.
BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: MARIA QUIROS
"The Non-Birder's Guide to Birding"
Hi there! My name is Maria and I am the recording secretary for Duval Audubon Society. I don’t really know much about birds other than I like them, even though some might sometimes annoy me (I am talking to you seagulls…going after my kids' snacks at the beach!). However, somehow I found myself here…meeting once a month to discuss how to raise awareness about the risks that birds are exposed to due to our disregard for their habitats and our ignorance of how everything we do impacts their habitat.
How did I land here? Well, like most of you that are probably reading this…I wanted to find a way to help. I am aware of the delicate state of our environment but at the same time a bit overwhelmed and undecided on how I could be of help. I started getting together with one of my good friends who loves birds and found that even though I don’t know much about them, I did love going on hikes and found myself getting excited when I started recognizing different species. You should have seen me when I stopped mid traffic on Roscoe Rd because I spotted a Bald Eagle! I still mispronounce the majority of the bird names…but I am helping; I am doing something; I have taken action.
Next thing you know, I got my first pair of binoculars, a bird feeder and a bird house. I also found myself taking my kids on walks to the Jacksonville Arboretum, Fort Caroline, Huguenot Memorial Park, among other great spots available to us here in Jacksonville to enjoy nature and support those parks. I found myself more aware about petitions to preserve their habitats and started working with other groups that share our same goal – to connect people with nature.
Being part of Duval Audubon doesn’t mean that I know all the scientific names of the birds (though many of the other board members are incredibly knowledgeable in the topic…); what it means to me is that I love nature and I am finally a part of a group that is looking to find solutions.
So, what are you waiting for? Come birding with me, the “non-birder”! Check out our calendar of events to see what's coming up, and follow us on Facebook, Meetup, and Instagram! Looking forward to seeing all of you non-birders out there!
PROPOSED 2019/2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Duval Audubon Society is an all-volunteer organization operated by a Board of Directors who manage the day-do-day business of running a chapter of the National Audubon Society. The following individuals have indicated their interest in serving on Duval Audubon's 2019/2020 Board of Directors:
We bid a fond farewell to our current Treasurer Aurelie Drexler and Education Chair Brett Moyer, who will be leaving us this year. Thank you both for your service - we will miss you!
Current board openings include: Clay County Conservation Chair, Education Chair, and Volunteer Chair. If you would like to join our board to help our chapter achieve its mission of connecting people with nature, please contact chapter president Jody Willis at email@example.com.
ARE YOU A MEMBER OF AUDUBON?
Duval Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon organization, and if you join Audubon and live in Clay, Duval, or Nassau counties, you automatically become a member of our chapter.
Why join? Your membership support enables the important conservation efforts of both the national and state organizations as well as our chapter. We offer field trips, programs, and educational outreach activities throughout the year in order to achieve our mission to "connect people with nature," and we can't do it without your support!
Plus, members receive the award-winning Audubon magazine!
If you are already a member, THANK YOU! If you haven't joined yet, you can do so on our website. If you aren't sure, or have questions about your membership, please contact our Membership Chair Christine Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click the event for more info:
The end of our current activities season is coming up at the end of this month, so don't miss your chance to join us. After our summer break, we will resume our field trips and programs in September 2019. We hope to see you soon!
Duval Audubon Society, Inc.