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November Program Meeting, “Blue Cypress Lake” - Kayak trip Nov 20

On Thursday, Nov. 18, Drs. Richard and Juanita Baker will present their award winning
book, Reflections on Blue Cypress, Photographs, History, and Poems, with their exqui-
site photographs and her evocative poetry. At over 6500 acres, Blue Cypress Lake is
the largest lake on the Treasure Coast. It derives its name from the blue appearance of
the cypress trees as the rising rays of the sun reflect off the water. After a career of
teaching, writing and directing medical research centers, Richard is President of Pelican
Island Audubon Society. He and Juanita, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Florida
Tech, enjoy art, canoeing, traveling, photography and writing. More inside about the field trip 11-20.
photo credit: Dr Richard Baker




November 18, 11 am -12:30 pm
Drs. Richard and Juanita Baker
“Blue Cypress Lake”
and Welcome Back Social Vol. 21 No. 2 772-288-2637 NOVEMBER 2010
November 20
Kayak trip on Blue Cypress Lake
Possum Long Nature Center’s Watershed Improvement Project
creates a new wetland sanctuary for wildlife
Back in 2007 Audubon of Martin County
PROGRAM MEETING @ AoMC Meeting Room embarked on an ambitious project to rid its Palm
December 16. 11 am - 12:30 pm
Dallas Shaun, Park Naturalist
Beach Road property in Stuart, known as Possum
SeaBranch and Long Nature Center, of a 30 year tangle of non-
St Lucie Inlet Preserves native invasive plants, including mahoe, peppers,
December 18
and air potato and to create a more hospitable habi-
STA Birding 7:30 am tat for birds and other wildlife.
Pontoon Taxi to Inlet Beach Preserve 9 am A $125,000 grant from the St. Lucie River
Maggy Hurchalla on native plants
Picnic noon Issues Team administered by the South Florida
RSVP Water Management District was obtained. RFPs went
JANUARY 2011 out in 2009. Removal of the invasive plants began in
early 2010.
January 2
The 50-50% matching fund requirement was
Standing water after contouring the pond to reach water the table. A string of
Liz Hailman, 561-746-7293 met through a combination of in-kind services pro- pearl ponds are sure to be a draw for wading birds.
vided by thousands of hours of work by Audubon Photo courtesy of Greg Braun
January 20, 11 am - 12:30 pm
volunteers and members of the community and
“The Wonders of STA 5” grants from the City of Stuart and the Florida
Margaret England, Hendry-Glades Audubon Division of Forestry’s Urban and Community
All are welcome
Forestry program.
FIELD TRIP to attend the
January 22 After contouring of the pond and rerouting of
STA 5 south of Clewiston Opening and Dedication
overhead electrical lines, the planting of thousands
RSVP of the new
of plants was recently completed.
Sanctuary for Wildlife
Wildlife has already found the enhanced habi-
January 23, 2 pm Possum Long Nature Center
Wildlife Sanctuary, the new wetland, tat. Pam Hopkins, PLNC Director, notes the osprey
Sunday, January 23
Possum Long Nature Center were not disturbed, small herons showed up to see
2 pm
what was in the pond, and small fish were noticed in
April 8-9, 2011 the water.
Executive Director - Greg Braun
561-575-2028 Office
561-575-0042 Fax
Message from our President by Lisa Fiore

STAFF MEMBERS We would love to get to know you! Please

join us on November 18 after our regular pro-
Managing Director Pam Hopkins 772-285-1445
gram meeting for coffee and dessert to welcome
Volunteer Coordinator Debbie Clark 772-545-2404
back our members who fly north for the sum-
BOARD MEMBERS Also, please stop by for a visit and get to
President Lisa Fiore 772-528-9707 know us! There's a lot of work being done at
Vice President Fran Stewart 772-245-8180 Possum Long to make it an even more beautiful
Treasurer Robert Gordon 772-546-2206 place. The Stormwater Retrofit Project is near-
Secretary Carol Newton 772-209-0789
ing completion and progress is being made
Past President Laurie Odlum 772-486-2837
Director Curt Wood 772-546-5435
Our Ospreys should be returning any day,
if not already, and Belted Kingfishers have been
Director Susan Whiting 772-220-1992
spotted, among others.
Director Susan Smyth 772-692-3489
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Remember to save this date: January 23rd,
Director/Garden Louise White 772-283-4416
Patricia Neidhart 2011! We'll be having the dedication of the
Conservation Tony Chatowsky 000-000-0000
Randy Swaringen Stormwater Retrofit Project and we would love
Education Linda Wishney 772-486-1935
Harris & Kathy Schulman for you to be there.
Field Trips Mary Starzinski 772-221-9953
Norma Patel Many, many thanks to the Cancer Biology
Legal Bob Matheson 772-485-0944
Garry Gardner Group at Scripps for their hard work clearing
Membership Bev Poppke 772-286-0061 Terry Rauth invasives at Possum Long on October 2nd.
Programs Ed Fielding 772-286-6131
Properties Greg Braun 561-575-2028
Possum Long Nature Ctr. Pam Hopkins 772-285-1445
Publicity Joan Bausch
Resource Dev. Debbie Clark 772-545-2404
Field Trip Infor mation (continued)
Youth Liason Jessie Green
Saturday, November 20, 2010. Blue Cypress Lake
OTHER IMPORTANT CONTACTS Register early, as this sunrise birding/paddling trip is limited to 12
lucky participants. We will launch at 6 am from the Middleton Fish
Bluebird Coordinator/ Librarian Bev Poppke Camp at Blue Cypress Lake with our guides, Dr. Richard Baker, president
Eaglewatch Coordinator Jim Kearman of the Pelican Island Audubon Society and Dr. Juanita Baker.
Cranewatch Coordinator Pam Hopkins At over 6500 acres, Blue Cypress Lake is the largest lake on the
Jaywatcher Coordinator Pam Hopkins Treasure Coast. It derives its name from the blue appearance of the
Christmas Bird Count Liz Hailman cypress trees as the rising rays of the sun reflect off the water. Expect to
Webmaster Jim Kearman see hundreds of osprey in the cypress trees.
There is a charge of $20/person in addition to our regular $5 fee for
AUDUBON HOUSE DOCENTS members. This is Dr. Baker’s requested contribution to the Pelican Island
Dina Allison, Ed Fisher, Dawn Hutchinson, Bev Poppke, Linda Wishney
Audubon Society.
Please bring your own boat. Dr. Baker will provide canoes if you do
Contact Your U. S. Senators
not have access to a boat but please let us know ahead of time. There
will be no extra canoes unless requested.
Bill Nelson 202-224-5274 Consider staying at the Middleton Fish camp (800-258-5002 or
Second seat is up for election November 2. 772-778-0150) as the put-in time is early. Toilet and showers are avail-
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of The Bakers will be in a van on site during the night. We will meet
Consumer Services toll-free within Florida 800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement,
approval, or recommendation by the state. at the Middleton Fish camp at Blue Cypress Lake at 5:30 am. Directions
will be provided to participants.
The Scrub Jay is published seven times a year The fee for trips is $5 for Audubon members; $10 for non-mem-
on recycled paper
bers. Proceeds go to our local chapter. Sign up and reserve your field
trip space by emailing Mary and Kathy at fieldtrips@audubonmartin- or calling 772-221-9953 (home) or 772-233-2820.
By Susan B. Whiting
Bird watchers often overlook common birds, These grackles love the mudflats where they can for-
such as the Boat-tailed Grackle, when out in the field. age for shellfish, catch aquatic insects, frogs, shrimp
‘Tis a shame as the behavior of all birds is interesting and small fish. A truly omnivorous bird, the grackles
and, of some, mind boggling. will also eat seed and grain, as well as fledgling birds.
We were birding at a Stormwater Treatment Kenn Kaufman in his Lives of North American Birds,
facility near Manatee Pocket in eastern Martin notes that Boat-tailed Grackles will go into heron
County one day and observed a Boat-tailed Grackle colonies and eat eggs out of nests.
standing in the marsh. The grackle would cock its The female Boat-tailed Grackles are the star of
head to one side, look down and then probe into the the family. Not only do they build the nest, lay and
marsh. This behavior caught our attention as the bird incubate the eggs, but are the only ones to feed the
continued the combined moves for five minutes. At young until they fledge. It seems the male of the
the end of this time, the grackle hauled a fresh water species exerts so much energy in finding a mate he
photo credit: Lanny McDowell
mussel out of the marsh. We figured the grackle can’t deal with raising the family. To give the male a
could never open the mussel. We were proven little credit, his courtship routine is quite a show. He
Boat-tailed Grackle wrong. A few moments of bill manipulation and the finds a perch in the open and then proceeds to
(Quiscalus major) shells were split and the mussel meat had been eaten. spread the keel-shaped tail, flutter his wings, bob his
Research led to the discovery that Common and head up and down in the light to show off his glossy
Boat-tailed Grackles are fitted out with a hard keel on plumage at the same time utter harsh and guttural
the top of their upper mandible (bill) with which sounds as well as whistles that can actually sound
they crack open nuts, egg shells and shellfish-includ- like a wolf whistle.
ing fresh water mussels! Bird behavior is what makes bird watching such
Floridians have Boat-tailed Grackles all over the a wonderful hobby. So don’t just mark off the birds
Newport Storm: State near fresh, brackish or salt water. If you are on your checklist as you see them, take some time to
looking for Boat-tailed Grackles in the rest of the study and enjoy their behavior.
Gigantic waves country you will have to look in the tidewater areas.

riptides Birding Adventures for Children

no surfers out - at Possum Long Nature Center November 20

except sanderlings, AoMC Education Coordinator, Linda Wishney, The event includes: Introduction to the world of
announces “Birding Adventures for Children” will birding, bird ID, and habitats; Hiking our trails to
take place Saturday, November 20, 2010, from 9 am see birds, including our new osprey nesting site and
running the wash. to 12 pm, at 621 SE Palm Beach Road, Stuart, newly created pond; Powerpoint presentation of local
Florida, 34994. Children in grades 6, 7, 8 (Middle birds; Sketching of birds and journal entries of our
Tony Chatowsky School) are invited to attend. birding encounters; Demonstration and discussion of
All children will need permission to attend and environmental issues. The event is free. Pick up reg-
must be accompanied by an adult. istration and permission forms at the office.


Howard Petrie

Carol Newton
in recognition of
her mother
Betty McLure

New member Howard Petrie brings Scripp’s colleagues to PLNC Oct 2 to assist with land stewardship in the hammock just east of the chickee. Invasive plants were
removed and hammock friendly species were planted. Joining the crew are Lisa Fiore, AoMC president; Pam Hopkins, managing director and members of her Habitat
Creation Team, Jim Stewart and Ralph Mallory.
Photos courtesy of Dean Smith
U. S. Postage Paid
Permit #57
Stuart, FL 34994

621 S.E Palm Beach Road

Stuart, FL 34994

Logo design by Shark River Creative,

Jensen Beach, Florida. 772-232-1384

Thank you Partners!

City of Stuart
Eddie Huggins Land Grading
Evergreen Engineering
KLS Earth Concepts
Florida Pole Setters
Frenchy’s Crane Service
Lucido Associates
National Resources
Conservation Service
St. Lucie River Issues Team
Our Many Volunteers,
Partners pictured left to right, front row: Karen Sjoholm of KLS, and Board Members Board members pictured left to right, front row, Doug Warns, Greg
Kevin Henderson of Evergreen Engineering, Shannon Martin of Braun, Pam Hopkins, Joan Bausch, Louise White, Bob Matheson.
Eddie Huggins, Donna Smith of NRCS. Second row left, Kathy Second row, left to right, Carol Newton, Curt Wood, Lisa Fiore, Ed
LaMartina of South Florida Water Management District, and Scott Fielding, Linda Wishney, Bev Poppke, Debbie Clark.
Wolfe of Lucido and Associates. Missing from photo: Susan Smyth, Tony Chatowsky, Mary Starzinski,
Fran Stewart, Soo Whiting, Bob Gordon, Laurie Odlum, Dan Roberts and
photos courtesy of Dean Smith Jessie Green.

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