The Audubon Observer, March 2024


2024 Mar Observer Banner


by Pete Johnson, Acting President

Crosby Native Garden Expansion Volunteers 202402Exciting developments at our Crosby Sanctuary conservation property in Orange Park are coming soon! Last month, volunteers (including students with Ridgeview High School’s Earth Club) started work on the expansion of our native plant garden by adding new fencing around the additional area and then putting down a cardboard weed barrier with recycled oak leaves as mulch. The fencing is necessary to protect the new plantings from the deer that live in the sanctuary, who like nothing better than nibbling the delicate young plants.

Coral Honeysuckle in bloom at Crosby SanctuaryThe expanded native garden will include a walking path as well as an entrance arbor featuring coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), a favorite of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and of course, many more plants native to our area that will attract and support a wide variety of birds. Ultimately, the project will almost double the size of the garden!

A grant from the National Audubon Society is funding the project as part of its Plants for Birds initiative. Plants native to our area are much better suited for local home landscapes since they are both drought and deluge resistant, pest resistant, and can tolerate the heat of our summers and occasional freezes in winter. They support the native insect population, which in turn supports the native birds, especially when they are nesting and have growing chicks to feed. Native plants also grow the seeds and berries that our local and migrating birds need. A yard full of beautiful exotic plants has none of these qualities and requires extensive watering and chemical support, so a native garden can save money, reduce water use, and minimize or eliminate the need for polluting pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers. Learn more about making your yard bird-friendly with our article, “Creating Bird-Friendly Habitat.”

Come see our native plant garden at Crosby as we work to expand and improve it! Crosby is open to the public from 8 am until noon on the third and fourth Saturday of every month (except June, July, and December). Find us at 427 Aquarius Concourse, Orange Park, FL.


LONF Logo Primary ColorCOLLISION MONITORING: Our Lights Out Northeast Florida initiative is looking for dedicated volunteers to help collect data on birds killed or injured by window collisions in our area. With sufficient data about bird fatalities/injuries, we will be able to have informed discussions with building managers and elected officials, with the goal of reducing nighttime lighting during peak migration months between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The Spring 2024 monitoring session (March 15 - May 15) is coming up fast, and we could use your help! Volunteering for Lights Out Northeast Florida involves walking an assigned route in downtown Jacksonville once a week during the monitoring session in search of dead or injured birds. All supplies and training will be provided. Learn more and apply here.

CHAPTER TREASURER: Our current treasurer Helen Kehrt is resigning from Duval Audubon’s Board of Directors at the end of June 2024 after four years of dedicated service to the organization, and we are looking for a new treasurer to join our board and support the chapter in achieving our mission, “Connecting people with nature, conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife.”

Volunteer graphic featuring raised handsThe treasurer is a critical member of the Board of Directors and has an essential role in our ability to continue to provide the activities offered by the organization. Helen shared the following description of the responsibilities of this volunteer position:

“The Treasurer is the custodian of the Chapter’s funds and is responsible for keeping accounts, depositing receipts, and disbursing funds in accordance with the Board’s direction and Chapter policy. Also, the position is responsible for filing required forms and reporting with regulatory agencies such as the State of Florida and the Internal Revenue Service. The number of volunteer hours can range from 15-25 hours per month.”

Experience with bookkeeping or accounting is helpful but not required. If you would like to support our organization and help us continue to provide expert-led field trips, fascinating informational programs, community outreach, and involvement in important conservation initiatives, please complete our online application, and we will get back with you soon. Thank you!

BIRD STEWARDING: Like to hang out at the beach? Do you have a few hours to spend at the beach and a willingness to learn and share information about our nesting birds? You can help beach-nesting birds raise their young in safety by becoming a Bird Steward! Attend our training from 10 am until noon on Friday, April 12th at the Ribault Club. RSVP to Chris Farrell at for details.


The month of March brings the first signs of spring, with warmer weather and the start of songbird migration season. Spring is also a great time to participate in nature-focused festivals and events. Here are some upcoming events in our general area celebrating all things birds and nature:

7 Creeks Fest Logo7 Creeks Fest, 10 am – 3 pm, Saturday, March 9, 2024. Presented by Jax Parks, Florida State Parks, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, North Florida Land Trust, and Timucuan Parks Foundation, the 7 Creeks Fest invites you to celebrate and explore the scenic waterways, diverse ecosystems, and winding trails of the 7 Creeks Recreation Area. Spread throughout the connected wilderness parks and preserves surrounded by seven creeks, this family-friendly, fun event raises awareness of these preserved public lands and how we can help protect them. Learn more here.

Raptor Run 3K, 8 – 10 am, Sunday, March 10, 2024. Hosted by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, participants can run or walk to help save native wildlife species in Florida! Proceeds from this all-ages race will go to benefit the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, which focuses on the rescue, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and release of Florida’s raptors. Register to participate.

Woodstork Festival 2024Woodstork Festival, 8 am – 8 pm, Saturday, March 16, 2024. Hosted by our new sister chapter, Camden County Audubon, the Woodstork Festival will be held at south Georgia’s Crooked River State Park and will feature a day filled with expert-led birding programs, artisanal crafts, ranger-led kayak paddles, and much more. Come connect with nature, support birding opportunities, and contribute to the protection of our feathered friends and their habitats in this unforgettable outdoor experience. Contact or visit to learn more.


Fiddle Fest Concert 202402Last month, musicians from Acacia Arts Academy presented Florida Fiddle Fest: For the Birds!”, a concert featuring fiddle music for violin, cello, upright bass, and even accordion, all to benefit Duval Audubon Society. The event was held on February 18 at St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach, and attendees were treated to some great old-timey fiddle tunes such as Redwing, Sweeps, and Kerry Polka, to name just a few.

After the benefit concert, many audience members stayed for some fun and easy Contra Dancing accompanied by the Acacia musicians.

We are deeply grateful to Acacia Arts Academy for hosting this fundraiser, and also to everyone who attended. All donations will support our educational outreach, conservation initiatives, and engagement with our Northeast Florida community.

You can learn more about Duval Audubon Society on our website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


Here's what's happening this month:

Hope to see you soon!

All content by editor Carol Bailey-White unless otherwise noted.

Duval Audubon Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 16304
Jacksonville, FL 32245

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