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Apr 2009 Night Heron Newsletters Manatee County Audubon Society

Apr 2009 Night Heron Newsletters Manatee County Audubon Society

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Published by: Manatee County Audubon Society on Aug 19, 2010
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Manatee County Audubon Society
We are committed to protecting the environment in our community, our state and our country.
www.manateeaudubon.orgVolume M Number 8 April 2009
Needed: Affordable, convenient meeting place
 Letter from President Steve Black 
 Black-crowned Night Heron
 By Don Bansen, MCAS Historian
Look back at our history
Our Earth Day celebration will open with volunteers planting a new garden
to attract butteries. Those who help may win a gift for their efforts. Come
and join the fun. Admissin is free and there is ample parking at the preserve,located at 4600 24th Avenue in Palmetto. Details on page 2.
Bring a dish to our pot luck dinner on Thursday April 16.
We have a decision to make regarding a meeting place for next year 
. First Presbyterian Church,where we have been holding our monthly meetings, has raised its rental fee to $150 a meeting, dueto increased church expenses. In past years, the church let us use its meeting room for whatever voluntary donation we could make. But we are living in a new world, and the price to continue atFirst Presbyterian works out to $1,050 for the year (seven monthly meetings at $150 each).
One option we are pursuing 
is to meet at Emmanuel United Methodist Church located at 5115Cortez Road for $50 a month plus $25 when we use kitchen facilities. We need to make this deci-sion by the end of May. One of the considerations, in addition to money, is to make the meeting place as convenient as possible. We have very valuable members who live on the Island as well asequally valuable members who live in East Manatee as well as Sarasota. If you would like to have
input, you can call or email any of our ofcers or board members with suggestions.
Two unsung heroes:
Since my time is winding down as president, I want to thank two unsungheroes. They have no titles, but consistently do the work that it takes to make our chapter success-
ful. My rst hero is Fred Allen, who is out at Felts Audubon Preserve three to seven days each
week. When there is routine maintenance to be done, Fred usually does it. He also does a greatmajority of the mowing although Tom Heitzman also contributes. Fred keeps the feeders stockedand he makes sure there is water in the solar fountain. I don’t know about all of Fred’s contribu-tions because he just does them without telling anybody. Fred knows about bird sightings at Felts
as well as being one of our buttery experts. My second hero is Ivan Marion. Ivan also likes to
work under the radar. Ivan is there to open the church for our monthly meetings, set up the soundsystem and then close the church. In addition, Ivan is our electrician. Ivan keeps our solar fountaingoing. He works on our generator and he serves as Roger Robson’s right hand man when it comesto construction work at Felts. Ivan and Fred deserve our undying gratitude.
 Steve Newton, a herpetologist and ani-mal curate from the Jungle Gardens,was the speaker in January 1977, and he brought a number of live specimens
with him: snakes found locally and from
around the world.
The last meeting 
in April 1977 was a
 pot luck, as it is today. The program wasa slide show,”Birds and Things from
 Down Under.”  During the winter of 1977-78 there was such a prolonged cold spell that the
 Brown Pelicans were “dying like ies” 
as Bradenton Beach Councilman Andy Rasmussen put it. At his urging the Manatee Audubon Board voted to con-
tribute $100 to buy sh to feed the birds.That donation was supplemented by a
 gift of 500 pounds of mullet given byWalter Bell, owner of the Bell Fish Co. Manatee Audubon was a regular sup- porter of Pam Stewart’s Pelican Perch,a wild bird sanctuary. Ms. Stewart wasalways sending a card or letter to show her appreciation. Norman Matteson was succeeded as president of Manatee Audubon byGeorge Gillis, who served for two years, from 1979 to 1981. A December bird kill on Anna Maria Is-land littered the beach with dead or dy-ing Red Knots. Catherine Spurr, presi-dent of Sarasota’s Wildlife Center, took about 105 sickly birds to her residenceon Clark Road and shipped a dozen car-casses to a state lab for autopsies. Nocause was ever found.
 Red Knot 
Page 2
Felts Audubon Preserve islocated in Palmetto4600 24th Avenue East Corner of 24th Avenue East and 49th Street East (Experimental Farm Road).Open Houseon First Saturday of the monthWork Dayon Last Saturday of the month
 By Barbara Singer 
Sightings at Felts
 By Tami McNally, Secretary
Continued Sightings:
 American Goldnch
 American Kestrel  American Robin Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Cedar Waxwing Common Grackle Eastern Bluebird Great Horned Owl  Indigo Bunting  Mottled Duck  Northern Harrier  Palm Warbler  Pine Warbler  Prairie Warbler  Red-winged Blackbird  Roseate Spoonbill  Sandhill Crane
Tricolored Heron
Wood Duck Wood Stork Yellow-rumped Warbler 
Felts Preserve: Celebrating Earth Day
Our sixth annual Earth Day Celebration
to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday April 25 atthe Felts Audubon Preserve in Palmetto will feature Critters from Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary,
face painting and crafts for children, guided nature walks—and the chance to spend the day in a
 beautiful outdoor nature preserve. Admission is free, and there is ample parking at the 30-acreFelts Preserve, located at 4600 24th Avenue (Experimental Farm Road and 24th Avenue East).
We will open with volunteers planting a new garden section
designed to attract butteries.
The planting will begin at 9 a.m. and those who help may win a gift for their efforts. The devel-
opment of the buttery garden is a TogetherGreen Volunteer project sponsored by the NationalAudubon Society with a generous grant from Toyota. Speakers will discuss ways to attract
Purple Martins,
native planting for birds and butteries and landscaping for climate change.
 Manatee Audubon will sponsor an exhibit 
of its various activities and offer Earth Day T-shirtsfor sale for $12 each. Water and snacks will be available for sale. More than a dozen exhibitorswill focus on a range of products and services, such as recycling, electric bicycles, bird andnature related items, wildlife photographs, and the various nature tours available in our area.
The Bradenton Herald, Manatee County’s newspaper since 1922
, sponsors Felts Earth Day.
For more information about Felts Preserve, the Manatee Audubon Society and this year’s Felts
Earth Day Celebration, visit the society’s website at www.manateeaudubon.org or call our  phone at 941-729-2222.
For those who would like to help
at the Felts Preserve, the work days are always the last Satur-
day of the month, except during April, when the work day is Saturday April 18, one week early.
This way we can get things ready for Earth Day, which will be on the last Saturday of the month
on April 25. The work days this month and every other month are a great time to come out and
help improve the property. We have tasks for all levels, from pulling a few weeds, picking up
trash or pulling out invasive plants. As we get ready for our annual Earth Day Celebration 2009,
we have lots of sprucing up to do to get the preserve ready for the big event.
The burn we had hoped to do this spring 
has been postponed until next year. The weather con-ditions never were just right to risk putting our property and those of our neighbors in danger.The Florida Department of Forestry is very cautious in this regard and our window of opportu-nity just ran out. Stay tuned for a possible burn next winter.
The Bluebird houses are back up
and we have seen lots of activity and think some of the boxeshave nests. I have seen lots of Bluebirds in the Preserve. The Purple Martin houses are also upand we have seen some scouts but no nesting birds yet. Perhaps our local Red-shoulder Hawk is keeping them away. One of the reasons to postpone the burn was the need to get the nesting boxes back up which had been taken down in preparation for a burn.
This past week we had a company install more wildower seed 
to our existing wildower 
meadow. The site was roughed up and then the seed was applied in a water slurry solution over 
the entire three acres. The seed is then covered with a ber mulch that helps keep it shaded and
off to a good start. Many of the plants from last year are getting ready to re-bloom, so with thenew crop of seed and last year’s plants, we should have quite a display in the coming months.
 Many new longleaf and slash pines
were installed in the southwest side of the property as one
of our TogetherGreen volunteer days. A dozen volunteers installed more than 110 trees. Keepan eye on these as they mature and create more benecial habitat for our birds.
 By Tom Heitzman
 Join our workdays to improve Felts
We’re sprucing up the preserve on April 18
Page 3
Upcoming Events
Welcome New Members:
 Dr. Philip and Joan Kinnard  Richard and Sandra Pope
Saturday 4/4
Open House Felts Preserve8 a.m. to noon
Wednesday 4/1
Field trip Circle B Bar Ranch, LakelandCarol Webster, 747-7295, leads this tripto a nature area with lots of birdsand scenic walks.
Saturday 4/18
Workday Felts Preserve8 a.m. to noonto get ready for Earth Day on 4/25
Thursday 4/16
Monthly meeting is at 6:30 p.m.(one hour early)for Annual Pot Luck.
installation of ofcers and
brief review of the year.Bring a dish to share and your own plate,cup and utensilsFirst Presbyterian Church,1402 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.
We may offer the newsletter in color via email 
Sign up now if you want faster information
 In an effort to help the environment, reduce mailing expenses, and disseminate information faster, we
are considering offering our Manatee Audubon newsletter via email beginning September 2009. This
will give a newsletter with color photos and images, and it will give Manatee Audubon the opportunityto expand some areas of interest. We are asking that you try receiving the newsletter electronically and if you are not happy you canalways switch back to the black-and-white printed edition. We assure you that your email address will be guarded, not sold nor given out without your written permission.  If you would be willing to participate in this effort, complete the following and return at either the April 16 general meeting, Audubon booth on Earth Day or mail to Manatee Audubon, P.O. Box 14550, Bradenton FL 34280-4550.Yes, sign me up for electronic newsletter________ Yes, send me electronic Event Updates__________
 Name _________________________________________________________ Email address____________________________________________________
 By Barbara Singer 
Eighteen Auduboners
went to wonderful birding sites around Lake
Apopka and Emeralda Marsh on March 7-8, the hottest weekendof the year to date. An incredibly knowledgable local birder and park ranger, Gallus Quigley, led us to 98 different species in vari
-ous habitats. Beyond the total numbers, this trip stood out because
so many of the birds were those we seldom see: American Bittern, both species of Whistling Duck, Sora Rail, Blue-headed Vireo,Hermit Thrush, Ovenbird, Grasshop
- per Sparrow, and White-crowned Spar-row. We also saw ones we “never” see,like Wilson’s Snipe, Say’s Phoebe,
Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western (noteastern) Kingbird, and - well, not a bird - a coyote! Not everyone saw ev
-ery bird, but many saw most, and mostsaw many, and all felt well rewarded.
 A birdful time and a coyote
 By Arlene Flisik, vice president and trip coordinator  Photos by Connie Zack 
4/6 - 4/10
Spring Break Campat Felts Audubon Preservefor elementary students9 a.m. - 4 p.m.with before and after care availableAround the Bend Nature Tourswith Manatee AudubonKaren Fraley, 794-8773karen@aroundbend.com$50 payable at registration
Saturday 4/25
Earth Day at Felts Preserve9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Admission free.Volunteers will begin at 9 a.m. to plant
garden to attract butteries. Elmira’s
Wildlife Sanctuary will present somewild critters and there will be speakers,a range of exhibits, water and snacks.
Thursday 4/23
Learn to monitor beach nesting birds!from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.Holmes Beach City Hall5901 Marina Drive in Holmes BeachTami McNally, Manatee Audubon,and Suzi Fox, director Turtle WatchFor more information, call 778-5638
Sunday 4/19
Field trip to Fort De Soto Park for spring migration.
Depart Main Post Ofce at 8 a.m.
Steve Black, coordinator, 376-0110

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