Public Programs

Seminole Audubon Society

Programs for 2016/2017

Held 2:00 p.m. the 2nd Sunday each month at the Seminole County Library, 150 N. Palmetto Avenue, Sanford.
Meetings are free and open to the public.

Photo by Roger Grimshaw

For more information on any of our programs call 407-797-4636, e-mail
or visit

2016/2017 Programs

Sept.11 Birding, at the Next Level
Reinhard Geisler, a published, professional photographer and passionate birder will share his photos and information about rare birds of Florida.

Oct. 9 The Big SIT!
Lake Jesup Park, Sanford: 7:30 am – noon. Bird count under the beige canopy. Guided walk 10:00 am.

Nov.13 Swallow-tailed Kites
Dr. Ken Meyer, Director at the Avian Research and Conservation Institute will inform us of his research.

Dec. 11 Wekiva - Wild & Scenic River
Virginia Oros, Wekiva River Ambassador, will discuss the river system and its outstandingly remarkable values.

Jan. 8, 2017 Seminole County Natural Lands
Learn about our Natural Lands and meet some of their residents, presented by Lori Hartsock, Program Coordinator.

Feb. 12 A Kaleidoscope of Birds
This 3-part program will feature birds of Panama, Alaska, and Brazilian Amazon.

Mar. 12 Bats in My Florida Backyard
Shari Blissett-Clark, Florida Bat Conservancy, will dispel common myths, replacing them with the fascinating truth about bats. Some FL Bats will join us.

Apr. 9 Wekiva River potluck & kayaking
Join us for food, fellowship and kayaking at our final meeting of the season.

Previous Programs

Bird-friendly Backyard
Taryn Sudol, Extension Agent, will share the 9-Principles of a Florida-Friendly Yard. This will include how to maintain a yard while conserving and protecting our natural resources.

The Big SIT!
Lake Jesup Park, Sanford: 7:30 am – noon. Bird count under the beige canopy. Guided walk 9:00 am.

Birds of Maine/Hog Island Highlights
John and Jimye Kaye Russell share photos from their retreat in West Maine; Leslie Martin will reflect on trip to Hog Island.

Other Things With Wings
Tom Dunkerton, nature photographer, will share images of fascinating creatures with wings other than birds.

Faith Jones will show us how to ID ducks and other Central Florida waterfowl.

African Birds ‘n Beasts- Part 2
Journey along with Charlene Edwards, photographer, writer and explorer, as she shares with us breath-taking images of the remarkable wonders of African wildlife.

Bears and Stuff
Alexander Guide, FWC’s Wildlife Assistance Program Administrator will provide an update from FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Bird ID/Annual meeting. Pot Luck
Send your bird photos and we will help you learn their names and how to ID them. Meeting will also include election of board members.

The Story of Thornby - How Ordinary People took on Government.
Sandy Walters's program will tell the story of how the historic property on Lake Monroe in Enterprise became the focal point for a community's rebirth. She will explain why the property was significant (environmentally, culturally, and historically) and a year-by-year overview showing how the successful struggle played out.

Paddle to the Sea - Lake Monroe to the Atlantic Ocean.
Delany Dean had long dreamed of paddling her kayak from her front yard on Lake Monroe downriver on the St. Johns River, all the way to the ocean. Fortunately, she had two adventurous friends Jane Goddard and Debbie LaFreniere who bought into the dream. The three central Florida women will tell the story of how this expedition went from dream to reality.

Seminole County's Centennial: Celebrating a Century of Success.
Seminole County turned 100 in 2013. We have gone from an agricultural area comprised of dirt roads, cattle ranches and vegetable farms with 9500 residents to one of Florida's most affluent counties with top-ranked schools and over 450,000 residents. Jim Robison, local historian and author of several books on Central Florida history will be our speaker.

Birds of Cuba and Audubon Hog Island Camp, Maine.
The first part of Faith Jones' program features images of birds and scenery plus some of her impressions from her 2013 Cuban Adventure. The second portion of the program will relate some of the interesting information learned while attending Audubon's Hog Island Field Ornithology Camp.

Least Terns.
Naomi Avissar, Florida Shorebird Alliance Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will be our speaker. Naomi will educate us on Least Terns, other colony-nesting shorebirds, the Florida Shorebird Alliance and the Florida Shorebird Database. She will also explain what we can do to help.

Florida Scrub-Jays.
Maria Zondervan, Bureau of Land Management, St. Johns River Water Management District, will be our speaker for this program which will feature the Florida Scrub-Jay. This is one of Florida's endemic species. The program will explain their lifestyle, why it's existence is threatened, and the Jay Watch citizen Science project.

Internet Tools for Birders
Learn about websites that birders use, including eBird, Audubon, USNPN, and MeetUp. Share sites you find helpful.

Name that Tune
David Williamson will host this fun, interactive program that matches bird calls to photographs of our resident and migrant birds.

A Geologist & Botanist’s View of Florida’s Special Places
Jim Denslow will look at what we see today and tell the story of how Florida came into being.

Birds of Black Bear Wilderness Area
Faith Jones will show some of the birds documented at BBWA during SAS surveys and help you learn to identify them.

Crystal Lake Preserve
We will cover the past, present, and future of Crystal Lake Preserve, including its flora and fauna.

Birds, Birds, Birds
Send your bird photos and we will help you learn their names and how to ID them. Meeting will also include Bird Tracks Northern Cardinal photo and sound contest winners, awards, election of officers and board members.

Lake Apopka Restoration
David Walker, Lake Apopka Basin Program Manager, will talk about the restoration of Lake Apopka.

Real Cool Birding for Families.
Join us for comfortable summertime birding. Invite the youngsters of all ages in your family to learn more about identification of Florida’s beautiful resident birds. The Birds we will study don’t fly away! They stay very still and very visible for as long as we want them to as they will be on the wall. Shirley Folse will be the speaker for this program, and she will focus on birds that frequent Central Florida bird baths, feeders and nest boxes. She will also discuss bird food and the plants they like and need to thrive in our yards.

Have questions about those enchanting little birds? If so, don’t miss this program. Shirley will explain mating rituals, how they construct their tiny nests, and much more. There will be plenty of time for all your questions. The program will also include video of hummingbirds in action. Shirley will also show clips from two popular DVDs about hummingbirds, “First Flight: A Mother Hummingbirds Story” and “Magic in the Air”.

The Nature Photography of Greg Stephens.
We are very fortunate that this meeting date fit in between Greg’s art show commitments. Greg’s photographic skills were first used in conjunction with his job as a Kissimmee Police Officer. His talent quickly was noticed by coworkers and friends who enlisted him to do wedding and portrait photography. After retirement, Greg moved to Gainesville. The proximity to Paynes Prairie and many other public lands provided Greg with the subjects and opportunity to expand into nature and wildlife photography. An internet search for Greg Stephens will result in some of his amazing images. Greg will share many of his images of wildlife and Florida scenes. He will also discuss some techniques, and welcome your questions.

Gardening for Native Pollinators - Butterflies & Moths by Tracy McCommon.
Three quarters of our Florida native wildflowers rely upon native pollinators to reproduce. Tracy will show the new addition to her Wildlife Matters series.

Waterwise Landscaping and the Wekiva Promise.
This will be a 2-part program. First we will have a presentation by Jose Artigas, Education Contractor for St Johns River Water Management District’s Office of Communications and Governmental Affairs on Waterwise Landscaping. Waterwise is a common sense approach to landscaping that conserves water and protects the environment.
The second presentation will be an explanation of the Wekiva River Promise given by Shannon Costello of the South Seminole Rotary Club and Friends of the Wekiva River. The Promise is a simple way for citizens to take an active role in protecting this Central Florida jewel. The Wekiva River Promise is a 5-part pledge to be a steward of this important ecosystem.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers are delightful little birds whose very specific habitat and nesting requirements have secured them a place on the Endangered Species List. They nest in old growth pine forest with little undergrowth. Ideally, their nest tree is over 80 years old. It must be alive, but must also be diseased with “red heard disease” or some other malady that will make the wood soft. Red-cockaded woodpeckers are small birds with small beaks that they use to excavate a nest cavity.

Locally extinct for decades, the red-cockaded woodpecker has been re-introduced to The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve. Jennifer Milikowsky, a field scientist who is managing and monitoring this red-cockaded woodpecker project. Her program will include information about these endearing birds, and the ingenious way humans have been able to provide habitat that the birds will accept.

Did you know dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater? Or that dragonfly eyes have up to 30,000 lenses, compared to the human eye that has one? Dragonflies are charismatic, ancient insects that date back 300 million years. Faith Jones will explain the dragonfly’s complicated life cycle, and many of their anatomical adaptations. The program will also include details for identification of the damselflies and dragonflies that can be observed locally.

Pelagic Birds of Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
Pelagic birds, or sea birds, spend the majority of their lives far off shore. These are a remarkable group of birds that the average person does not have the opportunity to observe. Michael Brothers, Director of Volusia County’s Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, is an expert on these species. He will be the guest speaker at the Seminole Audubon Society meeting on Sunday January 8. Mr. Brothers has taken many voyages to an area of the Atlantic Ocean above an undersea formation known as “the Steeples”. This is a location with underwater cliffs and seamounts that cause upwellings and currents along the western edge of the Gulf Stream. These waters with their abundant fish and other sea life make attractive feeding grounds for pelagic bird.

Sustainable Living.
Sustainable Living is the act of living in a manner that does not jeopardize the ability of the earth to meet the needs of future generations of people as well as other forms of life. Organic gardening is a sustainable way to produce healthy food for humans and wildlife. Tia Meers, Simple Living Institute, will share her expertise as an organic gardener. She will also discuss method for sustainable energy and water useage.

What’s Eating You?
Our wild birds and their fellow creatures are bothered, chased, and even consumed by one another. This action of who is picking on who, is called a food chain or food web. And oh, what a tangled web they weave. Jim Denslow will explain many of these inter-relationships with the aid images and specimens.

Birds, Birds, Birds
Send your bird photos and during this meeting we will help you learn their names. We will also spend time reviewing the features that were used to ID them. This meeting will also be the culmination of the season’s Bird Tracks: Carolina Wren project. Carolina wren photo and sound contest submissions will be displayed and winners announced. The meeting will also include awards, election of officers &board members.

All About Birds Day and The BIG SIT! Lake Jesup Wilderness Areas Park.
7:30 am – 2:00 pm Join us for this special day of activities that will include guided hikes, bird ID lessons, door prizes plus The BIG SIT!

The Cuban Tree Frog - A Growing Threat to Florida Native Wildlife.
Dr. Steve Johnson will discuss the status, ecology, and impact of these invasive tree frogs on native wildlife population.

Tomorrow’s Wekiva - Championing the Protection of the Wekiva River.
Historian Jim Robison will bring the river’s history to life with photos depicting people, artifacts and places in the Wekiva River area.

Critters, Cows & Cowboys.
Photographic Exploration into the Wildlife and Work of Treasure Hammock Ranch. Bob Montanaro’s program features the diverse array of wildlife that live alongside the cattle.

The Aliens – Invasive Plants.
Alien species destroy our native landscapes and cost millions to remove. Sherry Williams will explain how these plants arrived in Florida, how to ID them, and how to get rid of them .

Birds in Flight.
If you have trouble identifying birds as they fly by or soar overhead, this is a program you won’t want to miss. We will show ID tricks.

Pot-luck Lunch & Annual Meeting
Can you identify all the birds in your photos? Bring them to this meeting and we will help you learn their names and how to ID them. Meeting will also Include awards, election of officers &board members.

St. Johns Riverkeeper
This presentation by Kelly Savage, Outreach Coordinator for St. Johns Riverkeeper will discuss the river's heritage and the challenges that lay ahead for the river.

All About Birds Day and The BIG SIT! Lake Jesup Wilderness Areas Park.
7:30 am – 2:00 pm Join us for this special day of activities that will include guided hikes, bird ID lessons, door prizes plus The BIG SIT!

Bio-Controls in Your Garden.
Only 1% of the millions of insects in the world are considered pests. The other 99% have potential benefit. Research at the UF/IFAS Research Center in Apopka is looking for alternatives to harmful chemicals in controlling pests.

The Buzz on Bees.
Apiarist Jean Vasicek will discuss the life cycle of bees, importance to the foods we depend on, and threats that face their future existence. Demonstration hive with live bees.

Amazing World of Ants
There are 218 known species of ants in Florida. Their diversity and life habits are fascinating and will leave you with a new respect for these tiny, and often overlooked, creatures.

Wading Birds &Rails
This photographic presentation will include identification clues and behavioral traits of Florida’s Ciconiformes and Gruiformes.

Kilowatt Ours
A Plan to Re-energize America. Learn simple, practical and affordable solutions that will save electricity, save money and make a difference for the planet.

Pot-luck Lunch & Annual Meeting
Includes awards, election of officers & board members, updates on conservation, and a recap of the season’s memorable sightings and events.

500-Mile Solo Paddle of St Johns River System
Michelle Thatcher shared the experiences and insights gained during her kayak trip on the St. Johns River.

Butterfly Gardening
Mike Rich, creator of Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter, presented the basic principles of butterfly gardening, design and plants.

Birds of Prey Fly the Sky.
Live birds of prey. Learn their biology, habitat, diet, and obstacles for survival.

MINWR - A Feathered Frenzy!
Tom Dunkerton introduced the wide array of birds who call Merritt Island NWR home, as well as those who are just passing through.

It’s a Jungle Out There. Invasive, Exotic Plants.
The problems they create for our native habitats and native wildlife. How to identify and properly remove.

Owl Diary
Faith Jones reviewed unique owl traits, then took us through the escapades of a pair of barred owls during their 2008 nesting season.

May All Your Blues Be Birds
Bluebird enthusiast and manager of bluebird trail in NE FL, Bill Pennewill enlightened us about one of America’s best-loved birds.

Status of Birds in Florida
Julie Wraithmell’s presented details of the current status of birds in each of Audubon of Florida’s regional conservation areas.

Anoles: Those Florida Yard Lizards
Anoles are in practically every yard in Florida, yet few people know much about them. Steve Isham’s program was full of fun facts.

Colt Creek State Park
Scott Spaulding, Park Manager, provided a preview of this newly opened 5067 acre park that adjoins the Green Swamp.

Bring 'em Back Alive
Fred Hitt shared his love of the St. Johns River with earlier inhabitants who occupied this land for ten thousand years, but who disappeared over two hundred years ago.

Hiking, Biking and Birding in Central Florida.
Robert Fulton, outdoor writer and trail enthusiast shared some of his favorite trails and birding spots in Central Florida.

Birds & Beasts of Africa
Award-winning photographer, writer and explorer Charlene Edwards took us on a visual journey to Africa.

Ospreys: An Exploration into the Life of the Fish Hawk
This program chronicled a pair of ospreys and includes their nesting attempts and encounters with other wildlife in the Pelican Island NWR.

SAS BOARD meetings held regularly during the year. For times and locations, call 407 977-4389. 

May- August:  Summer programs, call or see The JAY newsletter for information.


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