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Music For Your Enjoyment

wood duckI hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  I spent a couple of days helping the Audubon Society with their Christmas bird count.  I spent one day with the Sarasota Audubon Society and the other with the Manatee Audubon Society.  They are dedicated to the protection, conservation and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment.

When I was asked to help I said, count birds?  How do you count the birds when they are flying all over?  How do you know if you are counting the same bird twice?  My biggest challenge, knowing which bird I saw.  They all look like sparrows, hawks or vultures to me, especially when they fly so fast and high.  We counted about 50 different species of bird in my area of Florida.  The people who have been doing this for years can tell what kind of bird it is based on their sounds, the way they move their tail, flap their wings, etc.  I have a new appreciation for the people who bird watch.  It’s not easy!

painted bunting

I wanted to know why this count is important?  This count has been going on since 1982.  When you look at the numbers over the years you begin to see birds in an area that were never there.  You also notice birds that used to be here, are no longer here.  That data is important for birds but also for humans and other animals.  There can be a lot of reasons for the change in numbers.


wood pecker

They also have a number of Field Trips that you can attend through out the year.  If you have never been aware of birds, join one of these fun events.  You will become aware of your surroundings in a new and different way.

One important thing that did have an impact on me involved feeding of animals.  I love animals so much that I always want to feed them when I can.  These are wild animals and need to stay that way.  When we feed them we are not giving them the type of food they really need AND they become dependant on us.  We are hurting them, not helping them.  I had some squirrels come up to me and stand on my shoes.  They looked right into my eyes asking for food.  They were very overweight and I’m sure not healthy.  It was cute but really affected me.  I have a tendency of feeding birds bread, which is not good for them.

poster-bird17

Someone also took me to visit an organization that I was not aware of.  It’s called Save our Seabirds, Inc.  It is located by the Mote Marine in Sarasota Florida.  It is open from 10am-5pm seven days a week.

They rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of native and migratory birds each year.  When the Tampa Bay channel experienced a devastating 365-barrel oil spill. Lee Fox, the founder, managed more than 3,000 volunteers over a three-month period to minimize the impact of this tragedy on the local seabirds. An unprecedented 85% of the birds affected – a total of 371 were saved! In recognition of her efforts, Lee received eleven separate awards from the U.S. Coast Guard and other environment groups.  Education and outreach has always been a major focus of SOS.  They are run by volunteers and can use more.  If you have interest in volunteering your time, providing materials needed to help the birds or want to donate, contact them.

SOS-birds-Owls

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