MARION
AUDUBON SOCIETY

A Chapter of National Audubon Society

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Conservation


The Big Picture
Keeping Our Conservation Focus on Marion County Special Places


Tuscawilla Park/Discovery Center – Habitats for Urban Birds – Marion Audubon members led by Carolyn Retey make ongoing observations about the bird populations at the park. The addition of the floating aquatic plant mats in the Tuscawilla Lake in March have provided additional habitat for birds and other wildlife. Initially it appeared that one young great blue heron was dominating the floating mats and not allowing other species access. During the later summer months this pattern changed and finally other species were observed using the mats including a snowy egret.

Summer Campers at the Discovery Center made observations while learning about the natural landscape of the park. Based on these collective observations, nesting boxes will be added to the park in January/February 2015. Cub Scout Pack #112 will build the nesting boxes to meet the requirements for their badges. Ocala Park & Recreation Staff will install the 19 nesting boxes in locations specified by Marion Audubon.

Prices Scrub – Located near the Alachua County line, this preserve is a critical area for ecosystem connectivity with the Paynes Prairie State Preserve that is part of the Orange Creek Basin. The Orange Creek Basin encompasses other water bodies of critical concern including Orange Lake. The first bird sanctuary established by National Audubon in 1910 , Bird Island, is located on Orange Lake. This sanctuary was later transferred to Florida Audubon and is managed by Alachua Audubon, our birding comrades to the north. Connectivity and partnering among local Audubon groups facilitates ecosystem connectivity. I hope you will attend the November 8th program at the Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort to learn more about wading birds and conservation actions to protect the special places of north Marion County.

Halapata Tastanaka Preserve –This preserve represents a major percentage of the geographic area for the SW Marion Christmas Bird Count. Ongoing Bird Surveys spearheaded by Sandra Marraffino and Citrus Audubon will continue under the direction of Steve and Darcy Shaddix. Breeding Bird Atlas data for this area will be added under the direction of Helen Ogren. The impacts of our changing climate to bird migration and habitats were released by National Audubon and initial review of the conclusion for our area clearly indicates that Marion County bird populations will change.


Field Report by Sandra Marraffino
Scrub Scrub Jay Activity & Habitat

April 7, 2015

I entered the Rte 200 entrance of Halpata Tastanaki at 8:30 am this morning and walked along the sand road parallel to Rte 200, heading toward the Bel-Largo development. Turning right at the first turn, I walked to where the road takes a bend and phished to call the Florida Scrub-Jays. First to respond were a pair of Eastern Towhees (photo on far left) and then a Blue-Jay (photo in middle-left), followed by the harsh call of the Florida Scrub-Jay (photo in middle-right). The Scrub-Jay flew from the eastern side of the road into a tree about 100 ft or more from the road . Soon it was joined by a second Scrub-Jay (photo on far right) . They both then flew north-westerly further into the scrub toward the trees in the distance where I lost sight of them .


HOME Calendar
of Events
Membership
Form
Bird Rescue
& Links
Birding Sites Citizen Science Advocacy &
Conservation
Marion Co.Bird
Checklist & Photos
Contact Us