The Limpkin Times

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

February 2019

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President's Message

The other day, I was driving down the road in downtown Tallahassee when an action took place that shocked me. A car pulled out right in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes. But this is not a new thing in Tallahassee. What shocked me was what happened next. The young man rolled down the window of his tinted Ford Mustang and threw a full garbage bag of trash out the window. 
As I picked up the bag, I realized how much work we as conservationists have in front of us. Whether people are dumping trash out of their car, trapping songbirds to sell, draining wetlands, or simply remaining indifferent about the threats facing our natural is clear that we have much to do.
That's why I'm proud to be in the company of all of you. I watch as Betsy Sullivan volunteers her Saturday afternoon to teach young kids about bird adaptations. I count bags of trash picked up by our members at a Big Bend Chapter of the Sierra Club event at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. I listen to eastern bluebirds singing from the top of a purple martin structure that Donna Legare and Jody Walthall helped to install. These things, and so many others, make me proud.
You all are helping to fight the good fight. Keep it up. 

-Peter Kleinhenz
President, Apalachee Audubon

In This Issue:

Native Nurseries Workshops

AAS Funding Opportunities

St Mark's Cleanup a Success

Wildlife-Friendly Yard Tour - Volunteers needed

Apalachee Audubon Wins Award

Wanted: Purple Martin and Eastern Bluebird Volunteers

The Hazards of Monofilament Line

Backyard Discovery at the Grove

Florida Trail Association Event

Conservation Action

Upcoming Field Trips
Lake Jackson
Saturday, February 2, 2019
8:00 AM 11:00 AM

Meet at Okeeheepkee Prairie Park at 8:00am. This is one of the best places in Leon County to find marsh specialities like American Bittern, Marsh Wren, Sora, and Virginia Rail. Afterwards, we’ll head to Crowder Road landing, with the possibility of stopping at Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park afterwards.

Please contact Jeff O'Connell at  if you plan to attend.
Beginner's Birding Walk
Optimist Park - Indianhead Acres

Saturday, February 9, 2019
8:00 AM 11:00 AM
We will start off at the park and get familiar with year round visitors like cardinals, chickadees and wrens; then, for those that are able we will walk down along the nature trail, which is around 1/2 mile. 

Please contact Jake Hartung at if you plan to attend.

Visit the  Field Trips web page  for information about upcoming trips.
Chapter Programs
iNaturalist with FWC's Peter Kleinhenz - (Joint Program - Magnolia Chapter of FNPS, AAS & Hairstreak Chapter of NABA)
Thursday, February 7, 2019
7:00 PM 8:30 PM
King Life Science Building
319 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee (see map below)

iNaturalist, a website and a free app, offers unique opportunities to connect people with the outdoors while contributing valuable data. Come learn more about this app and how it can enhance your outdoor experience with Peter Kleinhenz, who oversees FWC's Florida Nature Tracker program.
Living with Wildlife
with Sandy Beck, Education Director, St. Francis Wildlife Association

Thursday, February 21, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
King Life Science Building
319 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee (see map below)
Live, non-releasable, native raptors, reptiles and mammals will help Sandy Beck, share their stories, the unique adaptations that enable their species to survive, challenges they face, and specific actions we can take to help them. Also, learn about opportunities to get involved with St. Francis Wildlife.
Bird Friendly Yards: A Panel Discussion featuring Ann Morrow, Donna Legare and Rob Williams

Thursday, March 21, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
King Life Science Building
319 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee (see map below)
Come prepared to learn what individuals can do to make their own backyards friendly for birds and wildlife. Our panelists will share from personal experiences how they were able to transform their yards.
Visit the Chapter Programs web page  for information about upcoming events.
Native Nurseries Workshops

1661 Centerville Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 386-8882
Saturday, February 2, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Learn about birds that rely on natural tree cavities and nest boxes during a short slideshow presentation indoors. Then we will move outside to teach the children, with your help, how to build a chickadee or bluebird house. Siblings may work together.

$15.00 plus tax for the pre-cut cedar nest box kit; call to register – class size limited
Don’t forget to bring a hammer!

Saturday, February 9, 2019
10:00 AM -11:00 AM

Learn how to identify the birds you are seeing in your yard and in the field as well. Jim Cox, Director of the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers, is a biologist studying Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, Bachman’s Sparrow and other songbirds. He is a wonderful teacher! After the demonstration, Jim will lead you out onto the nursery grounds to apply the techniques you’ve just learned with some hands on birding in the field.

$3.00 fee; proceeds will benefit research at the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers.
Class size limited - registration is required.
St Mark's Cleanup a Success

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, I think that we can all agree that the government shutdown did not do our public lands any favors. Reports indicate that national parks like Joshua Tree and Yosemite have met with vandalism, human waste on roads, and trash build-up in virtually every area accessible to the masses. 
Locally, we have our own impacted places, not least of which is our beloved St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Recently, the Big Bend Chapter of the Sierra Club held a clean-up there that many of our own members attended. Over thirty participants fanned out to pick up trash carelessly discarded throughout the refuge. I counted eight full bags of garbage when the day was through, and probably missed some. 
While picking up other people's waste isn't anyone's idea of a good time, the solid group of people and beautiful weather made for a pleasant day. New friendships developed, people were exposed to new parts of the refuge, many cool birds were seen (common loon, vermilion flycatcher, northern harrier), and the refuge became a cleaner and more hospitable place for all of its visitors. 

Peter Kleinhenz
The 11th Annual Wildlife-Friendly Yard Tour - Volunteers Needed

It's that time of year again for the 11th Annual Wildlife-Friendly Yards Tour sponsored by Apalachee Audubon. If you haven't done this tour before, those who have will tell you it's the best $10 you can spend for an activity here in Tallahassee. Each year we have chosen five hosts for their environmentally friendly yards and the great ideas they have come up with to attract local and migrant birds and wildlife. With this tour happening in the middle of winter, it is not the ordinary style garden tour. It's a chance to see the 'bones' of the yard and catch a glimpse of some fabulous winter birds. Winter is planting time so you can take notes then go home and start that yard project you've always wanted to do and to welcome the birds of spring to nest in your yard. 
This year our event takes place on Saturday, February 16 th from 10am - 4pm. Tickets will be available, starting January 19 th at Native Nurseries (Centerville Rd.) and Wild Birds Unlimited (Thomasville Rd.) and will be available through the day of the tour. The tour takes place rain or shine. Birds are very active when it's stormy, so don't let that stop you. This is a fundraiser for the local Audubon Chapter. 
Once you purchase your ticket, you will be given all the information you need for the tour. It's shaping up to be another spectacular year not to be missed! 
Spread the word and bring your friends. Help us make this tour the most successful yet. We thank the hosts, both past and present, who have volunteered their yards and time, and the long list of volunteers who have helped make this event so special. 
Would you like to earn a free ticket for this year’s yard tour? All you have to do is to devote two hours at a host yard greeting visitors as an ambassador for Apalachee Audubon. No special knowledge is needed. You’ll be acquainted with the yard and our handouts at the event. This is just to give the hosts a hand during the tour. After your shift, you can do the tour for free.

This year’s yard tour will take place on February 16 and shifts are available from 10 AM to Noon, Noon to 2 PM, and 2 to 4 PM.
To sign up, please contact Tammy Brown at or (850) 933-8154.
For other volunteer opportunities, visit:
Apalachee Audubon Wins Award
A photo of a roseate spoonbill looking somewhat quizzical or like it needs glasses, stares from the cover of the 2018/19 “Audubon Florida Naturalist” magazine.

Along with many informative articles and wonderful photographs (see Tara Tanaka's Red Egret photo) the magazine reports on the awards given at the 2018 Audubon Assembly; some to our own. A “Best Education Project” award (for a large chapter) was shared by our chapter for the Lake Elberta Habitat Enhancement project, which identified four college interns from area universities, “. . to develop leadership skills as organizers of this local
park restoration”.
Wanted: Purple Martin and Eastern Bluebird Volunteers
As anyone who has constructed bluebird boxes and purple martin structures knows, you can not just construct these houses and let them go. They require maintenance. Recently, we installed two bluebird boxes and a purple martin structure at Lake Elberta Park. These need checked periodically to make sure the baffles are working, that fire ants aren't moving in, and that non-target species aren't taking ownership of these constructed shelters.

In addition, Betsy Sullivan and a team of volunteers is caring for, and collecting data from, purple martin colonies at the Alford Greenway, and at the Thornton and Edenfield Rd areas of the Miccosukee Greenway. They need one or two additional volunteers to help with bluebird boxes at the Alford Greenway, and could use additional help with monitoring the purple martins as well. They plan to install bluebird boxes at the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway and could use volunteers to start there too. Please contact Betsy Sullivan at if you're interested in helping!
The Hazards of Monofilament Line
by Peter Kleinhenz
I was at work a couple weeks ago when my phone rang. For whatever reason, my phone number is the one people call when they have questions that don't fit into a neat category. This phone call certainly fit the bill.
On the other line was Petra Marshall, a concerned citizen who had just made a disturbing find. She was walking along a shoreline when she happened upon a gull that had died what appeared to be a terrible death. A fishing lure complete with two treble hooks pierced the bird's chest. Monofilament fishing line formed a knot around the legs of the poor gull. Likely, the injured gull tangled itself further trying to remove the fishing lure. Then, it more than likely drowned. 
Fishing remains one of the most popular activities in Florida. I grew up fishing, and used to even teach fishing at a summer camp in college. Most anglers fish to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature's beauty. Some, however, view fish as a commodity and think little about their impact on the environment. When I have encountered litter from anglers, whether it be beer cans or fishing line, the sources generally tend to be people with the latter mindset.
In an age when more and more birds are more and more limited in their choices of habitats, fishing line strewn about the shore will increasingly cause problems. However, we can alleviate this by pushing for trash cans or fishing line receptacles. We can pick up any line that we see. We can spread awareness about this issue to those we interact with.
It's sad that a gull had to die to bring this story to my, and ultimately your, attention. By taking the actions mentioned above, however, you will help to ensure that the gull Petra found did not die in vain. 
Florida Trail Association Event - Apalachee Chapter

Volunteers and ideas needed:
WHAT: Outreach Event  "May the Forest Be With You"
WHO: Sponsored by the Florida Trail Association – Apalachee Chapter
WHEN: Saturday, Feb 2, 2019 – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.   (Set up starting at noon – breakdown afterwards)
WHERE: Cascades Park at Discovery Field
Details: This event is designed to bring together individuals with all levels of outdoor experience and to showcase the multitude of recreational opportunities in our region. Apalachee Audubon hopes to promote birding, local conservation efforts, what members can do to make a difference. Other information will be shared on local paddling and hiking trails, hiking trail maintenance, upcoming day hikes, backpacking equipment, geo-caching, bike packing, hiking with pets and children and Leave No Trace principles.
NOTE: Vehicles/golf carts/motorized transportation is not allowed in the park. You will need to unload close to site starting at 12:00 and then park in the DOT lot adjacent to Discovery Field, rolling dolly carts to assist in bringing items into the park would be helpful.
Equipment Needed.  All participants/stations will need to provide their own tailgate size tent (if available) and tables. To protect from weather, need at least one tent/table at each station. Tents can be no larger than 900 square feet and need to be weighted down (without stakes). Gallon size jugs filled with water and tied with rope from top hanging down each tent pole (4 per tent) are suggested.
Volunteers needed to sit at the table and interact with the public.
Volunteers needed to help set up and/or break down the display for the event.
NEED A TENT to use. 
Ideas for what to display and do are also welcomed.

Please contact Peter Kleinhenz at to volunteer.
Conservation Action

Apalachee Audubon would like to see the Canopy Road Protection Program reinvigorated, to keep Tallahassee beautiful for people while providing habitat for birds. Please contact our city and county commissioners to let them know that you would like to see canopy road protection become a priority. City Commissioner contact info can be found here  while county commissioner contact info can be found here .
Apalachee Audubon Society A North Florida Chapter of the National Audubon Society