Oct - Manatee County Audubon



Oct - Manatee County Audubon
Manatee County Audubon Society
Volume P Number 2 October 2011
We are committed to protecting the environment in our community, our state and our country.
from the Deans
Around November 1, a news release will be sent out for the
2012 Manatee County Audubon
Society’s Beginning Bird Watching Course, which usually fills
shortly after this press notice. If
you wish to participate, please
contact Nancy Dean at 941-7920235 or [email protected]
com before that date.
Classes begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 8:45 or 9 p.m. on January 23, 26, 30 and February 2
(Mondays and Thursdays). Two
8-hour field trips begin at 7 a.m.
on January 28 and February 4
(Saturdays). The fee is $50 and
2012 MCAS membership is required.
The course will be held at the
First United Methodist Church of
Palmetto, 330 11th Avenue West,
The Lower Myakka River boat
tour fee ($14 cash or check only)
for the December 8 Celery Fields/
Snook Haven trip will be collected at the November 17 MCAS
meeting by Nancy Dean.
November 17 is also the last day
to reserve one of the 32 seats on
the tour boat. Reservations may
be made earlier by contacting
Nancy Dean at 941-792-9235 or
[email protected]
Ron Mayberry to show photos October 20
The speaker at our opening meeting on Thursday October 20 will be MCAS member and nature photographer
Ron Mayberry. Ron and his wife La Donne spent several
months in Maine, where the wildlife is among the most
interesting and fascinating in the United States. He will
show us recent pictures he has taken on his travels and
will especially concentrate on Loons and Puffins. The
meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Palmetto, 330 11th Avenue, Palmetto.
Photo of loon family by Ron Mayberry
President’s Letter from Barbara Singer
It’s time for action!
It is time for each of us to move outside our day-to-day urgencies and make an effort to speak out and
support a program proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and strongly supported by Audubon
of Florida. Fish and Wildlife is proposing the establishment of the Everglades Headwaters National
Wildlife Refuge and the establishment of an associated Everglades Headwaters Conservation Area to
address landscape-scale land protection efforts in south-central Florida.
Extending from the outskirts of the Orlando metropolitan area south through the Kissimmee River
valley to Lake Okeechobee and southwest to the Florida Panther Refuge and the Big Cypress Preserve
is a region of approximately 4.5 million acres of wilderness and working ranch land that comprises
the Greater Everglades landscape. This area is one of the great grasslands and savanna landscapes of
eastern North America. For 50 years, Florida Audubon has worked with ranchers in this area to protect
important wildlife habitat and water resources in the Greater Everglades landscape. This proposal will
create a unique partnership between ranchers and the public.
Audubon supports this proposal because it would aid in the restoration of the Everglades, and conserve important habitats for key species in need of protection such as the Florida Panther, Florida
Black Bear, Everglades Snail Kite, Bald Eagle, Crested Caracara and Grasshopper Sparrow. From a
restoration standpoint, the proposed easements help cattle ranchers stay in business. These ranchers
have been beneficial to wildlife and water management.
Over 100,000 acres of conservation easements and 50,000 acres of land purchases are being proposed
for acquisition in the area north of Lake Okeechobee and south of Kissimmee. The Everglades need
you to speak out in support of this proposal. CLICK HERE to use Audubon’s easy email form and
show your support for these endangered animals and the restoration of the Everglades.
Another chance for Hot Air Balloon ride page 4
Recent Donor
Claire E. Herzog
Page 2
Butterflies are loving it at Felts
Tersa Sphinx Moths spotted at Felts
Photos of Tersa
Sphinx Moths
and text by
Fred Allen
On work day, Saturday September 24, I found a Tersa Sphinx Moth resting on the Biden.These moths were given the name “sphinx”
because the caterpillar, in resting position, with the front part of the body raised in the air, was thought to resemble the Great Sphinx
of Egypt. Sphinx Moths are also called hawk moths because their wings resemble hawks’ wings in shape, and because of their strong
flight and hovering ability. They can fly at speeds of up to 25 mph. The Tersa Sphinx Moth is one of the most slender and streamlined
of the hawk moths. It’s a day-flying moth that can be found nectaring at flowers along with butterflies.
While doing a recent walkabout at Felts, I noticed some activity in the Wax Myrtle near the crosswalk that goes to the Bird Blind.
It was a pair of Tufted Titmice. Then I saw a flash of yellow fly in front of me and it was a Prairie Warbler, the first this Fall. After
checking out the feeders and the Butterfly Garden I decided to see if I could find the Warbler again. I followed the Titmice to the
large clump of Maple trees on the west bank of the north pond, where I found 3 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers, 4 or 5 Cardinals, 4 Tufted Titmice, a pair of Prairie Warblers and one Black and White Warbler. While watching all these
busy birds, I spotted our mascot, the Black-crowned Night Heron, resting in a tree. So if you see a Tufted Titmouse working the
trees, follow it. They attract a crowd. But bring insect repellent. The mosquitoes are out in force. The Biden is in full bloom and
the butterflies are loving it. I counted 8 Monarchs, 2 Queens ( yes! They are back), 2 Black Swallowtails and a number of Skippers.
Work Day at Felts Audubon Preserve
Photos by Lucette Wombacher,
from far left top: Bob Obergelt
works to clear a trail; Monarch
butterfly, Steve Black works on
a trail. From bottom left: Beautyberries, sun rising on south
meadow, Swamp Hibiscus bloom.
Bird of the Month
Many Willets are permanent
residents in Florida
This Bird of the Month article is
the latest in a series
by Dick Comeau
Page 3
By Dick Comeau
The Willet is one of the largest shorebirds (sandpipers) on our local Florida beaches. The Willet
has a large bold black and white wing pattern seen in flight, which makes identification much
easier, especially from a long distance. It is grayish overall, has a long straight bill, and has long
bluish gray legs. It can be mistaken for a Greater Yellowlegs but on closer inspection the Greater
Yellowlegs is much shorter, has a slender bill and, of course, yellow legs.
Willets forage on open beaches as well as mudflats and sandbars. They feed mainly on crustaceans, marine worms, insects, and some plant material as well. Willets have an extensive breeding range from South America, Central America, Caribbean, all the way north to Canada. Many
of our Willets are permanent residents here in Florida and therefore can be seen year round.
If you really use your imagination, the vocal call of a Willet is a loud “pill-will-willet” or a “kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk.” It is basically
a loud call and should garner your attention. David Sibley in his book describes the call as a loud, ringing “kyaah yah or kleee lii or
a descending haaa.” Good luck with that! Remembering bird calls is not easy for everyone to describe or even to remember.
For the purist, there is the western race of Willets that breed inland but migrate along both coasts. The western race is slightly larger
than our eastern race (about 10%). It is paler overall and its wing stripes are broader. They act more godwit like when feeding. For
the rest of us birders they are Willets! Enjoy your Florida Willets as they are neat birds.
Nine children attend Junior Audubon program at Felts
By Steve Black
Our Junior Auduboners met for the first time this season on Saturday September 17 at Felts Audubon Preserve, where signs of
fall are everywhere. We had nine attendees, including three new members. One thing we wanted to encourage when we started the
Junior Audubon was a family atmosphere. This year two of our new members are younger siblings. We also had three adults attend
with the kids.
For our program, we studied the different types of animal structures. The kids seemed interested in the topic, and they were all able
to identify a different structure where animals lived, Everybody was glad to see each other, and the new members were welcomed
by the returning members. And although we searched the north and south quandrants of Felts, we did not find a Grizzly or a Black
Bear, but we did find a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Junior Audubon for ages 6 to 12 meets on the third Saturday of the month, from September through May.
Wanted: Newsletter Editor for 2012-13
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Manatee County Audubon Society is looking for a volunteer to edit and produce the
monthly newsletter, beginning with the September 2012 issue. If you are interested or
know someone who might be willing to take on this job, please contact me at [email protected]
manateeaudubon.org or 941-922-4488 for details.
The newsletter comes out once a month from September through May and helps us keep
in touch with members. We tell readers what is happening at Felts Audubon Preserve and
list a calendar of upcoming events such as field trips, meetings and special events. There
is always a President’s letter in which she or he reports on issues or comments on other
business. Lately, we have featured a bird of the month report by Dick Comeau. When
possible, we have photos and reports from the latest field trips.
Page 4
October 2011 Newsletter
Saturday 10/1
8 a.m. - 12 noon
Open House Felts Preserve.
Everyone invited.
Bring the kids for a walk on
the wild side to see birds and
other animals
on our 27-acre preserve.
Saturday 10/1
Manatee County Audubon
is leading a field trip to the
new Sarasota Celery Fields.
This expanded area features
a Boardwalk showing off
the expanded environmental
wetland area. Meet at 7:30
a.m. at Lowe’s S.R.70 at I-75.
Field trips are free for Manatee
Audubon members and $3 to
Wednesday 10/19
Robinson Preserve.
John Ginaven 383-5133.
Meet at 8 a.m. in parking lot
at Robinson, 1709 99th Street,
Bradenton. Bring bag lunch.
Saturday 10/22
Carlton Reserve. Bring bag
lunch. Dee Hanny 745-1553.
We go through the reserve’s
back country in an openair hay wagon and bird the
parking areas for Red-headed
Woodpeckers, nuthatches and
other residents. Meet at 7:30
a.m. at Lowe’s
at SR 70 at I-75.
Saturday 10/29
Work day Felts Preserve
8 - 12 noon
All hands are needed
so please join us .
Manatee County Audubon Society, 941-729-2222
P. O. Box 14550, Bradenton FL 34280-4550
Win a Hot Air Balloon Ride for two
By Barbara Singer
Back by popular demand! You may remember last year
Manatee County Audubon sponsored a raffle for a Hot Air
Balloon ride for two that was won by Bobbie and Don Benson. Well you have another opportunity. We will be sponsoring a fundraiser that you can enjoy for yourself or use as
a fantastic Christmas gift for a loved one.
Raffle tickets will be available at each general meeting, via
email or by calling 729-2222 October through December
with the winner being drawn at the December meeting. The
winner will receive a certificate for a Hot Air Balloon ride
for two with a value of $400. Raffle tickets are $10 each
or three for $25. The winner need not be present and will
be notified by phone. No more than 100 tickets will be sold.
Hot Air Balloon
This fun filled adventure can be scheduled at any one of
200 locations across the United States. A list of the locations will be available at MCAS meetings or
at www.800soaring.com. The experience includes a champagne or fruit juice toast at the end and will
take approximately three hours from start to finish. Of this, about an hour will be spent floating above
the treetops and below the clouds.
Reminder about Membership Dues
By Lucette Wombacher
Our membership dues need to be paid in January every year. Some of you opt to pay for multiple
years in advance, and that is fine. Dues are still $15 per household per year. Yes, it is a bargain if two
or more people are at the same address. Since our Chapter by-laws require us to drop anyone who is
more than six months past due, our membership list was updated in July.
Despite repeated reminders, some of our long-standing members did not pay dues in 2011, and so
were dropped from our membership list. If you did not receive the annual program brochure for
2011-2012 in the mail, it means either you did not pay your 2011 dues or the address we have for you
is wrong. If you think you were dropped in error, contact me at 813-760-4959, and we will sort it out.
Welcome new and returning menbers:
Barbara Aulenbach, Karen Lee Rosenbeck, Claire E Herzog, Christa Williams, Charles Mineo.
Volunteers needed to help at meetings
The Manatee Audubon Society is looking for volunteers to
help with the set up of drinks and snacks at our monthly
meetings. Two people per month are needed to oversee this
activity. Members provide the
snacks and Audubon supplies
the paper products and drinks.
Contact Patti Clauser at 941776-9063 if you can help us
with this.
Send your items for The Night Heron to newsletter editor Molly McCartney
at [email protected] or call 778-3228

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