March 2020
Our COVID-19 Message
The health and well-being of our Tropical Audubon Society members, volunteers, interns and staff is always our top priority. In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have taken proactive steps to protect our flock and our community. To minimize transmission risks, our Doc Thomas House headquarters is presently closed until further notice. On Monday, our staff began working remotely. Birding trips and events through the end of March have been cancelled or postponed. We will re-evaluate our position on an ongoing basis and keep you informed.
 
We are all in this together, and while our personal circumstances vary, we share an enduring love of birds and nature. At a time like this, birds can bring us joy and provide a much-needed connection to the natural world. Birding in your backyard or further afield is the perfect prescription for fresh air and social distancing. You can also join our online birding forums to share your sightings and stay abreast of local birding updates. (Visit our  Bird Board  website or join our new Facebook Bird Board .) 

Be assured that despite these uncertain times, we remain steadfastly committed to our Mission: To conserve and restore South Florida ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats. 

Going forward, please be safe and follow the guidelines of the CDC and local authorities. We are confident that we will emerge from our present challenge as a stronger community. 

For a complete update on cancellations and postponements, see our updated "March with the Birds" calendar below.

Sincerely,
Paola Ferreira, Executive Director
José F. Barros, President
In the Field
The Joy of Birds bring us happiness in so many ways — especially in trying times. If you're looking for a lift or in need of distraction, check out these sweet baby bird pics from our nest to yours.
American Oystercatchers
Photo: Jesse Gordon/Audubon Photography Awards
CANCELLED
Southern Palm Beach Birding
Saturday, March 21, 7am-3pm
 
Nancy Freedman will lead this carpool trip. Meet at 7am at Wakodahatchee Wetlands (13026 Jog Road, 1.5 miles north of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach) No fee. Bring lunch. No preregistration required.
 
CANCELLED
 South Broward Birding
Saturday, March 28, 8am-4pm
 
John Hutchison will lead this all-day carpool trip to birding locations in southern Broward County. Meet at 8am at Markham Park’s Meadow Nature Trail. From I-75, exit at Royal Palm Parkway (Exit 15). Drive west 0.5 miles to Weston Road. Turn right and drive west 2.8 miles to the park entrance. From I-595, exit at 136 Street (Exit 1A) and drive west 2.0 miles on SR 84 (I-595 service road) to the park entrance. Turn left after the entrance station (fee) to reach the nature trail parking area, opposite the dog park. Bring lunch. No preregistration required.
 
Th e TAS Bird Board, located on our website, has provided a community birding forum for South Florida birders for decades. Now you can also find Bird Board on Facebook ! Join our new Facebook Group to get the latest about rare bird alerts and share your South Florida bird sightings with our birding community.
Reserve Your Spot Now!
 Southeast Arizona Birding Trip
(during Monsoon Season)
August 2-11, 2020
Spaces Available
The Lucifer Hummingbird is among the jewels you may spot on this trip.
Stefan Schlick and TAS Field Trip Coordinator Brian Rapoza will lead this 10-day birding tour to Southeast Arizona, arguably the best place anywhere in the U.S. for early-August birding. When the mid-July monsoon rains arrive, the desert turns green and birds love it! Additionally, monsoon season is a great time for rarities to show up.

Desert birding will, for the most part, be restricted to the cooler early-morning or late afternoon hours, with much of each day spent exploring higher elevations in the Chiricahua, Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains, scouting specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Mexican Chickadee and Red-faced Warbler. The number of Hummingbirds and other fascinating birds that can potentially be seen in this region is staggering, so even if you've birded Southeast Arizona before, you’ll still feel like a kid in a candy store! 

Fee: $1,900 per/person double occupancy, $400 single supplement, which includes transportation, lodging, guides and park fees. Not included is round-trip airfare to Tucson, meals, tips, laundry or other incidental expenses. A $500 deposit is due at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due by May 2, 2020.

For details or to book your trip, click  here .  Email  Brian Rapoza , TAS Field Trip Coordinator for additional information.
Chirping About
Bird-Friendly Gardening program breaks ground
@Steinberg Nature Center
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher perches in Florida privet, a native South Florida shrub that provides significant food and cover for wildlife, and attracts birds who eat its fruit.
Tropical Audubon Society’s Steinberg Nature Center will soon host a new Bird-Friendly Demonstration Garden designed to inspire and empower Miami-Dade County residents to create wildlife habitat for birds, bees and other pollinators in their yards, on patios and balconies, helping to re-green urban areas. Groundbreaking took place on Saturday, February 15 (see photos below) with shovel-wielding volunteers potting up the native plants that will be retained; as installation continues over the next three months, there will be many more opportunities to dig in.

The Bird-Friendly Demonstration Garden project is being led by Tropical Audubon Society’s Volunteer Coordinator Amy Creekmur and Board Member Kirsten Hines. Creekmur is a master gardener and former director of Tree-mendous Miami; Hines, also on the Audubon Florida board, is a nature writer and photographer with an M.Sc. in biology who co-authored  the gardening reference book  “Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens.”

Area residents can learn to garden for birds and other pollinators by joining our Planting-for-Birds Eco-Restoration Days. To Dig In, contact Amy Creekmur at volunteer@tropicalaudubon.org 

Click HERE to read the press release!
T op: TAS Master Gardeners Steve Rawlings (far left) and Amy Creekmur (far right) supervised volunteers on February 15 during the groundbreaking for our new Bird-Friendly Demonstration Garden.

Bottom row, left: Dedicated volunteers assisted with transplanting native seedlings of red and pink salvias, Tropical Milkweed and Blue Porterweed. The delicate process entailed digging up each seedling and potting them individually until they are reintroduced into the new Demo Garden.

Bottom row, right: Florida Trail Association volunteers assisted by establishing trails lined with oolitic limestone, and also mulching and weeding a nursery area where potted seedlings will be nurtured.

The community’s help is essential to further transforming the Steinberg Nature Center into a food-rich oasis for birds and other wildlife. To participate, contact Amy Creekmur at volunteer@tropicalaudubon.org.  
Featured Events
CANCELLED
 Buzz by BEE-cause FLEA @TAS
Presented by Slow Food Miami
Saturday, March 21, 10am-4pm
Shop Tropical Audubon Society’s 4 th  Annual  BEE-cause Flea  and help support the pollinators who feed our planet. Browse among a thoughtfully curated selection of art, birdhouses, books, collectibles, greeting cards, honey, organic fruit and vegetables, jewelry, native pollinator plants and tag-sale items. Pollinator purveyors will include Artisan makers, beekeepers, fair trade collaborators and farmers will be among the pollinator purveyors.  BEE-cause Flea  takes place at our Steinberg Nature Center campus, a 2.2 acre urban oasis whose near-native habitats provide food and shelter for precious pollinators, including birds, bees, butterflies, bats and beetles. 
 
Our hellacious hive:  André Art Glass, Aprons by Irene , Bee Heaven Farm, Black Bird Paper Co., edible South Florida, Fair Trade Market, Hridayam Ayurveda, Hurricane Coasters, Keez Beez, Meadow Collective, Miami Fruit, Muni Farms, (The) Royal Palm Pottery, Silent Native Nursery, Smith Photos, Swamped in the Everglades! and The Villagers.

BEE-cause Flea  is presented by Slow Food Miami with support from Whole Foods Market. Net event proceeds support onsite Steinberg Nature Center Pollinator Habitat Initiatives.
 
FreeBEE Workshops:
·       Beekeeping & Honey Tasting with Keez Beez
·       ​Pollinator Exhibit Salon with Tropical Botanic Artists​
·       Bird-Friendly Gardening with Kirsten Hines
·       Healing Honey & Ayurveda with Hridayam Ayurveda
BEE-cause Flea MISSION: Raise community awareness of, and on-site support for, increasingly threatened South Florida pollinators.
 
Presenting Sponsor:   Slow Food Miami    |   Legacy Sponsor:  Whole Foods Market
Pollinator Partners:  Community Newspapers, edible South Florida,  inybn.com Riviera Presbyterian Church
Event Location:  @TropicalAudubon, 5530 Sunset Drive, Miami, FL 33143
Ride:  Bike to TAS or take Metrorail. We are a 10-minute walk east from South Miami Metrorail Station!
Drive:   Nearby metered, valet & garage options. Plus limited onsite parking via our 55th Avenue auto gate
CANCELLED, stay tuned for a potential pop-up date!
Conservation Concert @TAS
Featuring Been There, Done That
Saturday, March 28, 7pm
The night air will come alive with a tapestry of music as  Been There, Done That  returns to the Doc Thomas House stage for its annual March date with the Birds. 
 
Enjoy the band’s impressive repertoire under the stars and Audubon oaks. This year, beer lovers can also savor the tunes with a cold one from our 2020 Conservation Concert series "Presenting Craft Brew" sponsor  Island Coastal Lager.    
Also on the playbill:  Taco Fresh Food Truck, and the donation Bird Bar featuring Island Coastal Lager and wines courtesy of Republic National Distributing Co. 
 
Picnic tables available on a first-come basis.
 
Gates open at 7pm; music begins at 7:30pm
CASH door: $10 donation p/p, children 12 and under FREE
 
Parking: Limited free parking via our 55th Avenue auto gate and along 56th Avenue; metered parking on Sunset Drive; various garage and valet parking options within 1-3 blocks; Metro-rail service to South Miami Station.
 
Proceeds benefit capital improvements to our historic Doc Thomas House headquarters and Steinberg Nature Center grounds.
 
 
Green Things to Do
Venue Closed until further notice stay tuned!
“Pollinators” Art Exhibit @TAS
Presented by Tropical Botanic Artists 
Monday, March 9 – Monday, April 27
Artist: Silvia Bota
This exhibition of original art showcases the variety of creatures who pollinate South Florida’s abundant plant life. Focusing on these complex natural relationships, members of the Tropical Botanic Artists collective illustrated birds, butterflies, moths, bees, wasps – even aquatic zooplankton — with the plants they pollinate. An informative label accompanies each work.
 
The crucial role of pollinators is familiar to commercial farmers and home gardeners alike. In South Florida’s remaining uncultivated places – pine rocklands, hardwood hammocks, wetlands and coastal mangroves – the connection between plants and their pollinators is symbiotic. These co-dependent relationships, though not always obvious, can be extremely strong. Without one, the other will not survive.

See the “Pollinators” exhibit at BEE-cause Flea on Saturday, March 21, and hear from the artists about their creative process. For a private weekday viewing, contact  events@tropicalaudubon.org .

ABOUT the Artists:  The Tropical Botanic Artists collective was established in Miami, Florida, in 2006 to highlight the beauty of tropical plants through art. Its members come from all walks of life and each brings a unique viewpoint to his or her work. They share a love of the natural world and that fascination is reflected in their art. Artists with works in the Pollinators exhibit are Margie Bauer, Beverly Borland, Kristi Bettendorf, Silvia Bota, Marie Chaney, Susan Cumins, Jeanie Duck, Pauline A. Goldsmith, Leo Hernandez, Carol Ann Lane, Elsa Nadal, Laurie Richardson, Donna Torres and Jedda Wong. All are South Florida residents. For more information, visit  www.tropicalbotanicartists.com

CANCELLED
 Planting for Birds! 
"Bird-Friendly" Eco-Restoration Day 
@TAS’s Steinberg Nature Center
Saturday, March 21, 9am-12pm 
Do you have a green thumb, or wish to learn more about native plants for birds? You are invited to take part in an exciting new TAS project at our Steinberg Nature Center campus! Volunteer to help install our Bird-Friendly Demonstration Garden and get hands-on experience creating wildlife habitat. The knowledge and skills you gain will enable you to establish a bird-friendly garden in your own yard or patio.
 
Going forward, we will meet every third Saturday from 9am until noon to further transform our urban campus into a bird-friendly wildlife habitat.

The new Bird-Friendly Demonstration Garden is supported by the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Regulations Management (DERM), National Audubon Society and Audubon Florida.
 
Follow our progress on our social media outlets, and become a part of the metamorphosis by volunteering.
 
Planting a Better World for Birds & People!
 
Contact volunteer@tropicalaudubon.org for more information.

POSTPONED
(New Date TBA)

Save the Date : Thursday, April 30, 7pm  
Birds ‘n’ Brews Leica Lounge
Dry Tortugas National Park: Birds, Bygone Times & Book Signing
@Leica Store Miami
Celebrate the Tortugas Spring Migration at Leica Store Miami with ornithologist historian Dr. James A. Kushlan and wildlife photographer, author Kirsten Hines as they share insights into their latest book on the history of Dry Tortugas National Park. 

These remote islands, 70 miles west of Key West, have attracted birders since the visit of John James Audubon nearly two centuries ago. Over the centuries, the Tortugas have provided safe harbor to indigenous Indians, Cuban fishermen, merchants, pirates and privateers; its fort, a home for civil war soldiers and prisoners, famously housed Lincoln conspirator Samuel Mudd, and also served as a U.S. Navy outpost. In more recent decades, storied Fort Jefferson has famously drawn countless tourists. It is considered the most ambitious coastal fortification ever attempted, and is the centerpiece of Dry Tortugas National Park. 

Yet it is seabirds that gained the area its first formal protections. Four species of seabirds regularly nest here and nowhere else in the United States; and its Spring Migration remains a birding magnet. Jim and Kirsten will share a combination of archival images and Kirsten's contemporary photography to tell the story of the Dry Tortugas, its coral reefs and, of course, its birds.

About the Authors:
James Kushlan is an ornithologist, educator, writer and conservationist, past president of the American Ornithological Society and Waterbird Society, and director of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, including the Breeding Bird Survey and Bird Banding Laboratory. He also is the founder of North American Waterbird Conservation Initiative, Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, the Bird Conservation Alliance and IUCN Heron Specialist Group, and is an advisor to BirdLife International. He has published ten books and more than 250 articles.

Kirsten Hines is a Coconut Grove-based author, photographer and conservationist. Anchored by her master’s degree in biology and background as an environmental educator, her writing and photography highlight nature, wildlife and conservation around the world, and especially in South Florida. She is a board member of both Tropical Audubon Society and Audubon Florida. Her photography is featured in three of her books, and has appeared in  Shutterbug Expressions ,  Audubon , public art programs and many solo and juried exhibitions. Her photography and blog can be found at  KirstenNatureTravel.com. 
 
Together, Jim and Kirsten have published five books:  Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens Birds of Fairchild Key Biscayne ,   Biscayne National Park   and   Dry Tortugas National Park . Jim’s next book is a history of South Florida’s early naturalists to be published this summer; Kirsten’s next project is  Wild Florida , a book of photography and essays.

The Birds Thank