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Marion Audubon Society Newsletter (April 2017)

MARION AUDUBON SHIRT DEADLINE: John Schaefer will be placing the order for the Marion Audubon Shirt on Tuesday, April 11. The price is $45 per shirt for members. This includes Marion Audubon Society embroidered on the front on one side and the members first name on the other side. This is a Colombia brand long sleeve shirt, ideal for birding. The color is tan. The shirt shell is 100% nylon with a 100% polyester mesh lining. The shirt is vented on the back and has sun protection and has two pockets in the front including two smaller hidden pockets. We need your size in men's and/or if you are a woman your size in women's and/or if you know the corresponding men's size. These are great shirts and every birder needs one. If you want one of these special Audubon shirts send John Schaefer an e-mail at schaeferjo@cox.net before Tuesday.

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT DATES: If you are interested in participating in citizen science projects mark your calendar for these area Christmas Bird Counts. The Ocklawaha Valley Audubon Society will have their bird count on Friday December 15th. Alachua Audubon Society has their bird count on Sunday, December 17th. The Marion Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count will be on Monday December 18. Citrus Audubon Society will be doing their Christmas Bird Count on Friday, January 5th, 2018. If you have never taken part in a Christmas Bird Count and are interested, contact me. This is a great opportunity for both beginning and advanced birders to learn more about birding. Each Christmas Bird Count team needs a driver, a recorder and a couple of spotters. There is an opening waiting for you one of the teams.

PROGRAMS FOR BIRDERS: Birding in the spring and summer in Florida can be difficult because of the heat and insects. But, don’t despair, there are learning opportunities available inside. Marion Audubon and the Marion County Library System are offering two presentations for you – free and in air conditioned comfort. On Saturday April 29th there will be a presentation about herons, egrets and their kin at the Forest Public Library. It will start at 11:30 a.m. On Wednesday morning, June 21 there will be a program about attracting, feeding and identifying hummingbirds at the main branch on Silver Springs Boulevard. No popcorn but I have hear a rumour that there will be cookies and coffee.

BOARD MEETING: I have had questions about the Marion Audubon Society board meetings. These are not programs. The last chapter business meeting of the year will be on Thursday April 27 at the Discovery Center in Tuscawilla Park. The meeting will start at 4:00 p.m. Members of Marion Audubon Society can attend and participate in board meetings.

BIRD RESCUE: The two ladies who have done bird rescues and rehab for us in the past are no longer able to do so. If you know someone in Marion County that does bird rescues and rehab or have had a good experience with a licensed bird rescue/rehab person, please let us know. We get a lot of calls this time of year for bird rescues. Here is a link that will guide you if you need help with a baby bird: http://www.audubon.org/news/what-do-baby-bird

ATTRACTING NORTHER PARULAS: We have been seeing several Northern Parula Warblers on our bird walks. Unfortunately, Northern Parulas forage high in the canopy and are hard to see. I have attached a photograph of a Northern Parula that is on the All About Birds web site. If you want to get Parulas down and out of the canopy you should provide a moving water source. You can set up a moving water source with a dripper that will not only attract Parulas but other species of birds. The sound and sight of moving water is a great bird attraction. As a side bonus – mosquitoes cannot lay eggs in moving water. Here is a link that shows how to use recycled materials to make a dripper. https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-make-a-homemade-birdbath-dripper-for-your-yard/ You can also buy bird bath drippers on line or go to a store like Wild Birds Unlimited. Extra tip about mosquitoes: It takes three days for a mosquito to go from egg to adult. If you clean out your bird bath every two or three days you will not be “growing your own.”

LATER: I am running out of time but have had inquiries about several other things.
At the annual picnic yesterday at least four people asked me about birding apps for portable electronic devices. I am trying to learn about these apps because it is easier to carry a cell phone into the field instead of a bulky field guide in book form. I will send out something about this subject later. I have also had questions about the future Ocala Wetlands at the city managed Pine Oaks Golf Course. I will try to check on the progress of this project and get back to you. And a report on the trips we have been making to Cedar Key is also in the works.

To check our Facebook pages click here https://www.facebook.com/marionaudubonsociety/


Marion Audubon Society Newsletter (March 2017)

SENIORS PASS FOR NATIONAL PARKS: The pass can be used at over 2000 Federal recreation sites across the nation, including National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and many National Forest lands. U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are 62 years or older may obtain the Senior Pass. The Senior Pass admits the pass owner and any passengers traveling with him/her in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas or the pass owner and three additional adults where per-person fees are charged. The Senior Pass may also offer a discount on some expanded amenity fees, such as boat launching, guided tours and camping. Anytime a pass is used, photo identification will be requested to verify pass ownership. The price of the lifetime senior national parks pass is soon going to increase from $10 to $80. If you’re eligible to get one and haven’t done so yet, do it now. You must provide documentation issued by an authorized U.S. agency that demonstrates U.S. citizenship or permanent residence and birth date (driver’s license, passport or state issued ID card). Senior Passes are available from the Lake George Ranger District Office at 17147 E. State Road 40 Silver Springs. This is about 12 miles east of the intersection of Highway 40 and CR 35 (Baseline Road). They may also be ordered online. For more information, call the Lake George Ranger District Office at 352-625-2520.

SATURDAY WALK: This past Saturday morning eight birders enjoyed a very good walk at Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area. Donna Benedict, Josie Muncy, Carolyn Retey, Barb and Marty Schwartz, John Schaefer, Jim Sheppard (walk leader) and Larry Sutton walked 2.5 miles to the first connector trail and back. Along the way they saw 26 species of birds. The birds they saw have been posted on eBird. They saw Turkey Vulture, Swallow-tailed Kite, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Sandhill Crane, Common Ground Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, Pine Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch. Jim Sheppard found an active Pileated Woodpecker nest and we watched an adult enter and exit the nest hole.

ANNUAL PICNIC: Don’t forget the Annual Picnic on Saturday April 8 2017. Please RSVP by April 1st at afhannon@sbcglobal.net or call 760-212-3543.

RENEWAL TIME: If you have not renewed your membership or paid your dues, now is the time. Click in the MEMBERSHIP link above for the membership form.

Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marionaudubonsociety/ You can cut and paste this long Facebook address.