The Audubon Observer, October 2022
HURRICANE / TROPICAL STORM IAN UPDATE
Due to the storm-related closure of Fort Caroline, our Bird Walk for Beginners outing scheduled for this Sunday, October 2nd has been canceled.
We are still assessing whether our Reddie Point field trip scheduled for Saturday, October 1st will also need to be canceled, as the park may be closed due to storm damage. Please check our Meetup site for updates.
AMERICA'S BIRD MAN: DR. FRANK M. CHAPMAN
We’ve just learned of the publication of the first full-length biography of Dr. Frank. M. Chapman (1864-1945) by author James T. Huffstodt.
From the author: "Chapman was the iconic bird man of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City who spent all or part of each winter studying Florida birds for more than a half-century.
Chapman is remembered primarily today as the founder of the Christmas Bird Census (CBC) in 1900 which began with 27 participants counting a few thousand birds of 90 species; today upwards of 70,000 participants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other locations recently counted more than 4.5 million birds of 650 species.
THE MAN WHO LOVED BIRDS: Pioneer Ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, 1864-1945 is the culmination of more than 20 years of research and writing. The narrative highlights his many contributions to ornithology and bird protection, which went far beyond the CBC.
Some may be surprised to learn that Chapman was the most popular bird writer of his era, one of the earliest pioneer bird photographers, an explorer-ornithologist who laid the foundations of modern South American bird study, a museum innovator who perfected the bird habitat diorama, an early bio-geographer, a strong voice protesting the reign of the plume hunters, and the owner-publisher-editor of the first popular bird magazine, Bird-Lore (1899-1934)—the ancestor of today’s Audubon magazine.
Chapman spent all or part of each winter in Florida from 1885 until 1942, first based in Gainesville, then in Ormond Beach, followed by Biscayne Bay, and finally in Coconut Grove, Miami. He led milestone bird expeditions down the Suwannee River, into the Everglades, Payne’s Prairie, Lake Okeechobee, and Indian River Lagoon. He also played a lead role in 1903 in persuading President Theodore Roosevelt to designate Pelican Island as the first Federal bird refuge."
Author James Huffstodt will be the featured speaker at our January meeting and will have copies of his book available for sale after the meeting. Please check our calendar of events for details.
OCTOBER BIG DAY: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
This is your annual reminder that October Big Day is coming up! This year’s event will be observed on Saturday, October 8. To participate, just watch (or listen for) birds for at least 10 minutes anytime between midnight and midnight on that date and record your observations on eBird. You don’t have to be an expert birder or go to some exotic location – you can participate by watching birds you see every day in your own backyard!
Why participate in this global bird counting effort? Well, for one thing, it’s fun to get outside and see how many birds you can find. And while you’re at it, you are also contributing to a worldwide database of bird sightings that helps scientists track bird populations and movements and informs conservation efforts for threatened and endangered bird species around the globe.
Not only that, but by taking part in October Big Day you’re also celebrating Global Bird Weekend and World Migratory Bird Day. And to make it even more fun, download the free Merlin Bird ID app to your phone to help you identify the birds you’re seeing and hearing. Learn more about participating in October Big Day here.
AUDUBON BIRD MIGRATION EXPLORER
Last month we profiled several migration tracking technologies that are making it easier than ever for bird watchers to find out where to look for their target species. And now there’s another exciting tool: Audubon has just introduced a new website that provides interactive access to detailed information about the migration patterns of more than 450 bird species that breed in the US and Canada.
You can search by bird species to learn about the migration path of your favorite bird, look up a specific location to find out about the birds that migrate through that area, and use the Conservation Challenges feature to learn more about how human activities are affecting migratory birds. The interactive species maps are especially fascinating: using actual tracking and sighting data from the eBird database as well as a wide range of scientific studies, the maps let you see exactly how a bird species moves throughout the year from its wintering range to its breeding range, and back again. Each page has links to related articles for further study of a particular species or location.
Audubon's Bird Migration Explorer platform allows visitors to “connect the dots” on bird migration to see how a species that passes through your area must rely on a multitude of habitats throughout its migration range to provide the conditions it needs to survive and thrive, and why protecting these critical habitats is vital for the ensuring the future of migratory bird species.
RIDGEVIEW HIGH SCHOOL EARTH CLUB
This month we want to give a special shout-out to the new crew of students from the Ridgeview High School Earth Club, who have been continuing the volunteer efforts of their predecessors at our Crosby Sanctuary conservation property in Orange Park this year. These dedicated students have been helping out with a variety of chores at the preserve, including weeding the native garden, picking up trash on the trails and in the swamp, clearing and marking trails, and checking water quality in the swamp.
Many thanks to these wonderful volunteers for all your hard work at Crosby - we appreciate you!
Here's what's happening this month:
We look forward to seeing you soon!
All content by Carol Bailey-White unless otherwise noted.
Duval Audubon Society, Inc.