Public Programs

Cattle Egret

September 13, 2020

Wekiva Wild and Scenic River Ambassador Ashley Konon


In October 2000, the Wekiva River, Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run and Black Water Creek were designated by the US Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River.  Ashley will explain what this means to Floridians as well as her role as River Ambassador.  Ashley has many special events planned in October to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this designation.


October 11, 2020 

Big Sit  

This event replaces our regular monthly meeting.  This is an annual, international event hosted by Bird Watcher’s Digest. Some people have called it a “tailgate party for birders.” We sit inside a circle (under a tent) and count all the bird species we see or hear. All levels of birders are welcome. Come for an hour or two or for the entire time. Bring your own binoculars, chair, water and snacks. Lake Jesup Park, 5951 Sanford Avenue, Sanford. 7:00 am-12:00 pm.

This is an outside event, not on Zoom.  For the safety of participants, we will be following CDC guidelines and local COVID-19 orders regarding social distancing and the wearing of masks.


November 8, 2020

Understanding Coyote Behavior in Florida with Catherine Kennedy, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC)

Catherine Kennedy, a senior biological scientist with FWC, will share information about coyote biology, behavior, and their history.  She will explain how to prevent interactions and what to do if you see one in order to reduce conflicts and keep pets safe.


December 13, 2020

Florida Birds Exposed by Juanita Baker, Ph.D.

Juanita will share stories and photos from her book, Florida Birds Exposed.  She explains that Florida has varied habitat, climate, and what birds choose and need. Juanita will share the human impact and what we can do to save these beautiful birds.  Her book is   illustrated by ‘Bird Photo of the Month’ winners (52 photographers) selected by the Pelican Island Audubon Society from 2009 to 2019. Each is accompanied by essays describing unique attributes and behaviors of the featured birds representing the major families of birds in Florida. Poems, as well as stunning photographs, will inspire the reader.

The book can be purchased online at: proceeds help support the Pelican Island Audubon Society.


January 10, 2021  

Why It’s Important to Free the Ocklawaha by Margaret Spontak

January 2021 is the 50th Anniversary of the halting of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. The Ocklawaha River, the largest tributary of the St. Johns River, has been impounded since 1968 by a dam built before the Canal was stopped. Construction of the Rodman/Kirkpatrick Dam destroyed 7,500 acres of floodplain forest, 16 miles of river and submerged over 20 freshwater springs. With the Dam in need of millions of dollars of repairs, it is time to breach a portion of the Dam which never served its intended purpose to create a free-flowing Ocklawaha - reconnecting Silver Springs, the Ocklawaha, and St. Johns River. Margaret will explain why removing the dam to restore the historic flow will provide significant ecological benefits as well as expand recreational and economic opportunities.

Margaret Spontak’s conservation career includes director of development for Audubon Florida, director of policy and planning for SJRWMD, promotions manager for Silver Springs & Weeki Wachee and co-author of Protecting Paradise. She is currently chair of the Free the Ocklawaha Coalition, representing 34 organizations throughout the state, and board member for Conservation Florida.


February 14, 2021

(Almost) Everything You Wanted to Know About Purple Martins by Dr. Anna Forsman, Department of Biology and the Genomics & Bioinformatics Cluster at UCF

Dr. Forsman will provide information about the life history, behavior, and migration of Purple Martins.  She will also provide an overview of her research through the newly established UCF Purple Martin Project.  In addition to her research activities, Dr. Forsman serves as faculty advisor for the Knighthawk Audubon chapter, oversees the UCF Ornithology Museum Collection, and teaches courses in ornithology and genomics at UCF.


March 14, 2021

Grow a Better Bird Feeder by Neta Villalobos-Bell


Want to increase the number and variety of birds that visit your yard?  Then provide more than seeds by “growing” a better bird habitat with Florida native plants! Neta Villalobos-Bell is a National Association Certified Interpretive Guide, Florida Certified Horticulture Professional, Certified Florida Master Naturalist, Former Master Gardener, Life Member Florida Native Plant Society, and 2018 Central Florida COX Conserves Heroes recipient. Neta has a passion for sharing her expertise and knowledge about the importance and benefits of Florida Native Plants in our environment. 


April 11, 2021

April 11 cancelled. Tentatively rescheduled to May 2

Potluck & Paddle – Annual Meeting

This is our last meeting of the season. We will offer kayaking and bird watching on the Wekiva River at the Russell homestead on Wekiva Park Drive near Katie’s Landing off SR 46 in Sanford. Kayaks are available or bring your own non-motorized watercraft. The first group of paddlers will leave at 8 am and the second group will leave after the potluck lunch, which will start around noon. The annual meeting will take place during lunch. Bring or wear appropriate river-wear; you could get wet. Weather is changeable this time of year, so dress accordingly.

GPS Address: 164 Wekiva Park Drive, Sanford, FL 32771

This is an outside event, not on Zoom.


2:00 pm
the 2nd Sunday of each month
September to April



Because of concerns about COVID-19, programs will be held online via Zoom.  Meeting notices will be sent by email to everyone on our distribution list.  If you are interested in attending a program and have not received the notice, contact



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