Among highlights seen during Naples Christmas Bird Count
by Renee Wilson
Research staff with Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve recorded a banded roseate spoonbill while conducting the annual Naples Audubon Christmas Bird Count by boat between Naples and Marco Island on December 26, 2014.
The faded red metal band on the spoonbill’s upper left leg was seen as the bird was feeding among the mangroves lining the Rookery Bay backwaters.
“I’ve looked at hundreds…maybe even thousands of spoonbill legs over the past ten years and this is the first one I’ve found with a band” said Beverly Anderson, Rookery Bay biologist. “Using binoculars, I was able to make out CV inscribed on it.”
Anderson contacted the Florida Audubon research center in Tavernier and learned the bird was banded by Audubon scientists as a chick at the Alafia wading bird colony near Tampa Bay on April 25, 2007. It was last reported from Alafia on June 21, 2007 and has not been reported again until now.
“Re-sightings of banded individuals help us better understand where birds disperse to find feeding grounds, as well as the age at which they mature and their longevity,” said Tavernier research center manager Peter Frezza.
Other Naples Christmas count highlights were three peregrine falcons, two common loons and six northern gannets.
March 14 (6 – 10 p.m.)
Batfish Bash for the Bay Annual Fundraiser
More than 200 guests can enjoy cocktail hour and silent auction among the aquariums and art gallery, sunset on the bridge over Henderson Creek, and a wild live auction on the center’s back lawn. This year, the Batfish Bash will feature an amazing dining experience with Service By Jordan. Upbeat and catchy music from the Girl Meets Boy band will have you grooving on the outdoor dance floor. Proceeds from the wild live auction will help support research and education for future scientists. Event sponsors include Minto, Arthrex, First Florida Integrity
Bank, WCI communities, and many other members of the community. www.rookerybay.org/bash
March 19 (9 a.m. to noon) and March 20 (7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
Nature Photography Workshop
This two-day workshop is designed as a skill building session for relative newcomers to digital SLR photography. There will also be three hours of one class dedicated to practicing new skills in the field. Required equipment: digital SLR camera with detachable lenses. This class is
not designed for point-and-shoot camera users. Maximum number of participants: 7. Cost: $150 for two-day class.
March 21 (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
WING IT: A Beginning Birder Workshop
Learn basics of birding, including how to use field guides, plumage, flight patterns, behavior and field marks in bird identification. This class
also provides an overview of binocular styles and functions, including adjusting the diopter and other “tricks of the trade.” The classroom session will be followed by a field trip to a nearby park to practice new skills. Cost is $30 ($25 for members). Also offered April 11.
March 23 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
World Water Day
In celebration of World Water Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Registration
March 23-27 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Art Class: Realistic Painting in Acrylic
Learn how to paint anything realistically in this informative class. Lee Hammond demonstrates easy methods for students at all ability levels; no experience required. Supplies are not included. Cost is $375. Maximum class size is 12 people.
March 27 (5:30 to 7 p.m.)
The March lecture will feature several presentations meant to ignite and inspire the audience. This group of southwest Florida biologists will make presentations using only 20 slides, each with a time limit of 30 seconds, letting their passion for the environment serve as the backdrop for anecdotes from the adventures of their lives with accompanying illustrative images. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for refreshments, the speakers’ presentation is 6 to 7 p.m. followed by questions and mingling. Admission is $10, free for members.
April 7 (noon to 1 p.m.)
Lunch & Learn Lecture Life in Henderson Creek in 1887
This presentation will provide a glimpse into life as a pioneer in the Little Marco community just before the 20th Century. It is based on the diary of F. Watts Hall, who was the school teacher from 1898-99. Excerpts from the diary are supported by nautical charts, historical images and discussions with descendants of the Kirkland and Carroll families who were living on Henderson Creek in 1898. Ray Carroll, Cindy Carroll, and Chris Durfee will recount these stories and can authoritatively answer questions about what life was like on Henderson Creek over the years. $10 includes lunch from Carrabba’s and Costco (free for members).