Meetings and 
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Hernando Audubon

Hernando Audubon

Established 1959

May 3 - Thursday - Annual Picnic
Chinsegut Conservation Center
23212 Lake Lindsey Road (CR 476)
1 mile west of US Hwy 41, north of Brooksville

We gather at the Center at 5 p.m. for those interested in birding.
The picnic starts at approximately 6 p.m.
Hernando Audubon will provide barbecue.

Please bring a side dish to share and your own place setting.

Chinsegut Conservation Center Manager Gina Long (Philhower) will make a presentation about the Center's accomplishments during
the past year and what the Center's expectations are for
the coming months.

See you there!

Meetings are held
September through April  
on the fourth Thursday
of the month except
in November when
we meet on the
third Thursday.
Our annual picnic is in May.
There is no meeting
in December.
You don't have to be
a member to attend
our meetings.
Everyone is welcome!

Photos above, from top:

Sandhill Crane eggs, like the two being tended in this image, average about 3.45 inches at their longest diameter.

After hatching, young Whooping Cranes quickly learn to explore the environment near the breeding territory.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Sandhill Cranes are affected by human activity primarily through habitat loss, disrubance/displacement, and hunting.

The cinnamon-buff and cinnamon-brown plumage of juvenile Whooping Cranes is distinctive.

February 27, 2020

Florida Panther:
On the Road to Recovery

Elizabeth Fleming
Senior Florida Representative,
Defenders of Wildlife

Please note new
meeting location:

Hernando County Mining Association
Enrichment Center,
800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd.
Brooksville, FL 34601

Access to John Gary Grubbs Blvd. is on the west side of U.S. 41, directly across from the SUNOCO station.The center is a 2-story white building.

Doors Open: 6:30 p.m.
Meeting starts: 7 p.m.
Presentation starts
promptly at 7:15 p.m.

About the speaker:

Elizabeth is responsible for promoting and expanding the field conservation program in Florida for Defenders of Wildlife where she has worked for 15 years. She develops conservation objectives and strategies and works with partners to protect and restore Florida's imperiled wildlife, their habitat and a state ecological network. Elizabeth works to conserve core and connective habitat for wide-ranging species and advocates for incorporating wildlife conservation into transportation and land-use planning. She also coordinates programs that foster acceptance for sharing the landscape with panthers and other wildlife. Elizabeth serves on the Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team and its transportation subteam, Florida Panther Outreach Team, Florida Black Bear Technical Advisory Group, Florida Manatee Forum, and other work groups.
She chairs the Advocacy Committee of the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge where she has served as a board member since 2008 and chairs the Wildlife Team of the Everglades Coalition, an alliance of more than 60 organizations dedicated to full restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.

Banding and recapturing 15,000 birds over a 30-year period in one location in Minnesota
This program will discuss protocols used, volunteer involvement, and information learned about the 110 bird species banded (mostly passerine) over the past 30 plus years at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota. The project began after a tornado spent 16 minutes destroying the nature center in 1986.  The idea was to document how bird populations would change as the forest regrew after the devastation. With over 500 banding days, and over 25,000 captures, and with some individuals captured up to 48 times, we now have extensive data on some species' population changes and reproductive activity over time. We also have data on individual longevity, long distance migrants who return repeatedly to nest, as well as migrants who pass through on their way to northern Minnesota and Canada. And there will be lots of interesting stories and photographs from over the years.

About the speaker:

Siah St. Clair has a Master's degree in Environmental Interpretation from Michigan State University. He is a licensed bird bander and has been co-running this banding project since its inception in 1987 with master bander Ron Refsnider.

Siah was a nature center director for 42 years, first in Connecticut for 7 years and then as director of Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, Minnesota for 35 years until retirement in 2013.  He serves on the board of directors of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, and as field trip chair. He has also been the compiler and coordinator for the North Minneapolis Christmas Bird Count for many years.  He is the Chair of the Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project, which is a subsidiary group to and is sponsored by the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis. Siah is also a talented nature photographer.

All images for this meeting by courtesy of Siah St. Clair.

Future Programs:

March 26 - Thursday
Bird Feeders and More
Lucy Tolak
Wild Birds Unlimited
Annual Meeting and
Election of Officers

April 23 - Thursday
Florida Scrub-Jays
Jacqui Sulek - Audubon Florida

May 14 - Thursday
End-of-Season Picnic
McKethan Lake Park

Florida Panther
2010 image by Connie Bransilver, cropped for space reasons,
accessed by courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
About the Presentation:

Elizabeth will speak about the many challenges and opportunities that Florida's state animal, the Florida panther, has faced over the course of the last few decades in the struggle to survive and regain some of its former range that once spanned the southeastern United States. Once numbering as few as 12 to 20 individuals, today the panther population is estimated at 120 to 230 adults and subadults in south Florida. While still very small, this population has grown steadily since a genetic restoration project initiated in 1995 helped increase overall fitness. And recently females have crossed the Caloosahatchee River and bred north of the river in south-central Florida for the first time since the early 1970s. At the same time, rapid urbanization that contributes to habitat destruction, road mortality and human intolerance threatens continued progress in panther recovery. Emerging threats, such as a poorly-understood neuromuscular disorder and Burmese pythons are additional stressors. A panther that walked from south Florida to NW Georgia in 2008 demonstrated that we still have the green infrastructure necessary for panthers to move across the landscape into their historic range. But we must act swiftly to secure important habitat before it is lost.


This month, Hernando Audubon celebrates its 60th anniversary.

The Hummingbird Program will be preceded by a brief commemoration of this event. Look for details in our electronic newsletter, eNEWS.
Elizabeth Fleming
Photo provided by speaker.
To learn more about Florida Panthers, Hernando Audubon suggests the following link:
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
You can also access the refuge on its Facebook page.
Adult Male Florida Panther in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
2016 photo by David Schindle for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Image cropped for space reasons; accessed by courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Florida Panther Kittens in Den at Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest.
2010 photo by David Shindle for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida;
accessed by courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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