February 2014

Monthly Archive

Orlando Wetlands Park Field Trip Report

Posted by on 23 Feb 2014 | Tagged as: birding

eagle_pairFeb 7, 2014.

Off highway 50 near Christmas the Orlando Wetlands Park is a large (1200) acre man-made wetland designed to treat reclaimed water and provide wildlife habitat.
Wastewater from parts of Orange and Seminole Counties is pumped to a treatment plant in South Seminole County. Of this highly treated reclaimed water 20 million gallons a day are sent to the wetlands where aquatic plants further remove nutrients. It takes approximately 40 days for the reclaimed water to filter through man-made and natural wetlands before reaching the St. Johns River. The wetlands provide habitat for over 200 bird species. The 19 miles of berms are great for walking. We walked the 2.5 mile birding route and saw 65 species including the usual wetlands birds, 5 species of ducks and hundreds of Black-bellied Whistling ducks whistling in the rain.
Bill and Marsha found a male Painted Bunting and Richard found our target bird, the Vermillion Flycatcher. So, it was a good day in spite of the rain and cold.  Continue Reading »

Responsible bird photography

Posted by on 12 Feb 2014 | Tagged as: birding

Breeding season gets off to an early start in Florida—and where there are adult birds in showy breeding plumage and adorable chicks clamoring to be fed, wildlife photographers are sure to follow. While many of us enjoy glimpses into the secret lives of birds, we don’t often think about the ecological risks involved in taking wildlife photos.

Each year, Audubon biologists, wardens, and volunteers spend countless hours educating photographers who have approached nesting birds on our sanctuaries too closely—disrupting their natural behaviors and threatening the birds’ health and the safety of their chicks. Many photographers just don’t realize what the impacts can be…and unfortunately a small, harmful minority care more about killer photographs than the birds.

If you are a wildlife photographer, make sure you are educated on the issues, so the birds will be there to photograph for years to come. And if you are an admirer of wildlife photography, learn about the issues so you can choose wisely which photographs to praise and which photographers to patronize.

Jonathan Webber
Conservation Campaign Manager
jwebber@audubon.org

Wintering Ducks at Fern Dr and SR 442

Posted by on 09 Feb 2014 | Tagged as: birding

The usual Hooded Mergansers have been joined by ring-necked ducks at the pond on Fern Dr and US 442 in Edgewater.

fern_drive_pond-19

fern_drive_pond-8-2 fern_drive_pond-13 fern_drive_pond-3-2