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Coastal “bird stewards” from all walks of life volunteer with Audubon – and they are brought together by one common passion: caring for birds and the places they need.
This summer, the Western Everglades research team at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary found themselves rising early, packing field gear and a lunch, and heading out for a new project in the Picayune Strand. But this summer came with new energy for the team.
Lake Elberta Park is one of Tallahassee’s best kept birding secrets, tucked away in a historic African American neighborhood between Florida A&M University and Florida State University. Apalachee Audubon received a special Audubon grant to help restore the lake and share its significance with the diverse Tallahassee communities nearby.
Visitors to America’s Everglades in the 19th century frequently reported astonishment at the sheer numbers of wading birds they saw. JohnJames Audubon wrote, “The flocks of birds that covered the shelly beaches, and those hovering overhead, so astonished us that we could for awhile scarcely believe our eyes.” That all changed when plume hunters decimated the iconic Florida birds in the 1880’s.
Two years ago, Audubon entered a legal battle to protect Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area in Southwest Florida. Out-of-state investors wanted to build a private boardwalk over a state-owned lagoon and conservation lands, barely skirting the edge of the critical wildlife area. Audubon scientists immediately sounded the alarm.
This summer, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey released its 600th rehabilitated Bald Eagle back into the Florida skies with the help of long-time Audubon supporters Dick and Mimi Ford. Audubon rescued the eagle in March after injuries likely sustained from a territory fight with another eagle.