The Audubon Observer, Summer 2022
ONLY A FEW MORE DAYS TO HELP SAVE THE FERNGULLY ADDITION!
As we mentioned previously, our chapter is supporting the North Florida Land Trust (NFLT) and the City of Jacksonville’s Parks and Recreation Department in helping to raise funds to preserve a small (4.85 acre) parcel of land that is adjacent to the City's Ferngully Preserve in the Mandarin area. NFLT only has until July 19th to raise funds for the addition!
Ferngully is an undeveloped tract of land comprised mostly of wetlands and is habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including bird species such as Wood Storks, as well as the Southeastern Fox Squirrel, Striped Newts, and several rare plant species.
This property is up for sale and is in danger of being developed, which would cause significant environmental damage to the wetlands and further reduce suitable habitat for the birds, plants, and other wildlife species that rely on it for survival. If the North Florida Land Trust’s fundraising campaign is successful, the property would be added to the Ferngully Preserve and would be kept in its natural state, protected from development.
Donations for the Ferngully Addition are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law, and if the acquisition falls through, contributions will be returned to the original donors. North Florida Land Trust is accepting donations at this link, or you can send a check to North Florida Land Trust, 843 W Monroe Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202. Be sure to write “Ferngully Addition” on the memo line of your check to ensure the funds are allocated to this campaign.
Please consider giving generously to help preserve this piece of natural Florida!
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE POPULATION SURVEY
The Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) is a nonprofit research organization that focuses on rare and imperiled bird species in the United States and Latin America, such as Magificent Frigatebirds, Snail Kites, Reddish Egrets, and Northern Harriers. Their research gathers data throughout the year-round ranges of the studied species in order to inform local and international efforts to conserve these and other threatened species.
One of the most iconic species they study is the Swallow-tailed Kite. This stunning raptor species winters in South America, returning to North America to breed during the summer months. Many Swallow-tailed Kites nest right here in Northeast Florida, and it's always a pleasure to see these beauties soaring around in search for a meal for their young.
ARCI is currently conducting a population study of Swallow-tailed Kites, and you can help by contributing your sightings from July 15 through August 10. It's easy! Just fill out their online form to report any Swallow-tailed Kites you see during that time period. The most valuable sightings are those in the mornings before 10 am, but all sightings will be helpful. Your sightings can help conserve this spectacular but vulnerable species.
SUMMERTIME VIRTUAL PHOTO SHARING PROJECT
Our summertime virtual photo sharing project is now available for your viewing pleasure! We invited members of our chapter to share their best bird photos from the past year for our annual summertime virtual photo sharing project, and this fabulous video is the result. You can view it anytime on our YouTube channel.
89 different species were captured, from travels across the country to our beautiful local birds. A big thanks to all who contributed their fabulous photographs for the project:
Members of our chapter are invited to contribute to the project every summer, so start photographing those birds now, and we'll look forward to seeing them next year!
JUNE CHALLENGE 2022 RESULTS
We are so pleased to announce our local winners of the 2022 June Challenge! Congratulations to Clay County winner Martha Fethe, who spotted 94 species, and Duval County winner Jeffrey Graham, who tallied an incredible 123 species last month. Since there were no participants this year from Nassau County, we're awarding a second place prize to Duval County participant Jay Kauffman, who hustled for an amazing 117 species, topping his last year's count by more than 25 species!
Winners will get our limited-edition ball cap and a 12 oz. bag of delicious, bird-friendly Birds and Beans coffee.
A special shout-out to Jessica Dyszel, who participated not only in Duval County and Clay County, but also in Alachua County (and was in Maine for part of the month!)
Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who participated! See the full statewide results here.
If you didn't get to participate this year, mark your calendars for next June! It's such a great way to keep on birding during the summer months and discover some magical places right in our area that you might not have visited before. Learn more at floridabirdingtrail.com/june-challenge/.
All content by Carol Bailey-White unless otherwise noted.
Duval Audubon Society, Inc.