The Limpkin Times

Apalachee Audubon Society Mission Statement:
Protection of the environment through education,
appreciation and conservation.

August 2017 

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Sure, a start to a new year may seem like an improper label for mid-August. But, with students returning soon, the series of Apalachee Audubon programs offered on FSU's campus will begin soon too. And do we ever have an incredible line-up scheduled for all of you...

All of our programs, and much of our conservation efforts, concern one of the last great rivers, a true "biodiversity hotspot" right here in our backyard:

The Apalachicola River

September Program

Dan Tonsmeire has served as the Apalachicola Riverkeeper since 2004. He is passionately committed to saving not only the Apalachicola River, which is truly an American treasure, but to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola Bay, one of America’s last great estuaries. He is an expert on the flora, fauna and hydrology of the Apalachicola’s estuary. “We’ve got sturgeon, rare mussels and other extraordinary animals in the river,” he says. “Plus herons, osprey, eagles, swallowtailed kites – in fact, the Apalachicola has the highest biodiversity of any river system in North America.”

Dan was a backcountry guide in Idaho, a commercial fisherman in Alaska, and the owner/operator of a small marine construction company in Alabama and Florida. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Civil Engineering and currently holds a United States Coast Guard Ocean Operator’s license. “I’ve lived in magnificent landscapes in Alaska and Idaho, and worked in other parts of Florida,” he says, but he cherishes Apalachicola’s wildness and authenticity: “There are a lot of places in Florida that would be as pretty as Apalachicola; but they’ve all been developed and covered up. People here still make a living from the water. It’s not only a beautiful place; it’s a real place.”
August/September Field Trips
Saturday, August 26
Lake Jackson Landings

Meet at Okeeheepkee Prairie Park at 8:00 a.m., which is located off N. Monroe just north of I-10. We will then carpool to Crowder, Faulk, and other Lake Jackson landings. There is minimal walking involved ( it is summer) and we will finish by lunch. We will be carpooling, so let me know if you are a willing driver.
Saturday, September 9
Butterfly Tour of Apalachicola National Forest

Meet at 9 a.m. at the Publix at the intersection of Capital Circle SW and Crawfordville Highway. This will be a dual event with the Hairstreak Chapter. The butterfly folks tend to stay all day to seek, so there will be 2 choices of the tour: 1/2 day and full day. We need vehicles with 4WD and will be carpooling, so please indicate if you are a willing driver. Also please indicate if you desire to do the 1/2 or full day tour. The full day tour requires that you bring a picnic lunch.
Friday, September 29
Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines

Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Pilot Gas station at the intersection of US90 West and I-10. There should be some good Fall wildflowers to see and our guides, the Schmidts are always so helpful. We will be carpooling, so please indicate if you are a willing driver. We will finish early afternoon, and some may want to eat lunch on the way home.
Please email Helen Jelks King at if you plan to attend or want more information.
Visit the  Field Trips web page  for information about upcoming trips through September.
Conservation of the Apalachicola...
in Washington

In late July, Apalachee Audubon board member and conservation committee chair, Rob Williams, traveled to Washington D.C. on behalf of Apalachee Audubon to push for conservation of the Apalachicola River watershed. Rob met with a wide variety of individuals, representing a broad spectrum of conservation organizations. Florida senator, Bob Graham, attended and has taken ownership of the Apalachicola River initiative as his next major environmental undertaking after working for years to promote Everglades ecosystem.

Rob described the incredible biodiversity of the river system to the group and suggested possible partnership opportunities to strengthen the initiative. In addition to his involvement at the meeting, Rob has written letters, done extensive research, and searched for strategic opportunities to conserve habitat along the Apalachicola, from the Woodruff Dam to the Gulf of Mexico.

The river is not only the lifeblood to a range of communities and ecosystems along its banks, but it also provides freshwater to the Gulf of Mexico. Oysters, and the industry they support, depend on this influx of freshwater.

Stay tuned for more updates about the chapters work with this initiative and for opportunities to get involved. Just by being a member of Apalachee Audubon, you are helping to conserve the Apalachicola Watershed: one of the most species-rich places in the country.
September Bioblitz Registration Open  

Become a biologist for a day (if you aren’t already) by joining FWC staff and subject matter experts during the Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area Bioblitz on September 23. You will search for birds, plants, reptiles, amphibians, and insects to help biologists better understand the distribution of species in the area using the brand new Florida Nature Trackers program .

For all you birders, a special “early bird” event from 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM will offer a chance to view burrowing owls and, possibly, Bachman’s sparrows. 

Volunteer at Florida A&M University
Friday, September 1, 12-4 PM

Help us recruit student volunteers from Florida A&M University to help us teach students from schools on the South Side of Tallahassee about birds and conservation. We will be visiting classrooms, helping to get kids birding at places like St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge by sponsoring field trips, facilitating a birding club, and helping kids discover the avian wonders right in their backyard.

Email David Arnold at
Wanted! Binoculars and/or field guides you're no longer using

We are beginning a big initiative to give more kids from under-served communities the chance to discover birding, and the many benefits that come with it. Help us accomplish that goal by donating any extra pairs of binoculars or field guides you no longer use to Apalachee Audubon. You'll be making a huge difference with these kids!

Email Peter Kleinhenz at if you have any items to donate.
We want to hear from you! Send us your reports from the field, your photos, and birding/conservation related events in the community. 
Apalachee Audubon Society A North Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society