Calendar of Events, September - October 2017

Birdsong is closed August 16 through September 4.

Wed. 	Sept.  6   Center Re-opens
Thurs. 	Sept.  7   Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat. 	Sept. 16   Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
Sat.	Sept. 23   Early Moring Nature Experience
Sun. 	Sept. 24   Butterfly Gardening with Native Plants
Sat. 	Sept. 30   Early Fall Birding at Birdsong
		   Take a Child Outside at Birdsong
Thurs. 	Oct.   5   Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat. 	Oct.  14   Fall Botany Walk
		   Birding Class (Visiting)
Sat. 	Oct.  21   Volunteer Work Day with 
                     Hands on Thomas County

Sat. 	Nov.  11   Raptors of the Red Hills
~ Program Descriptions ~

Saturday, September 16
2 - 4 PM

Let’s go bug hunting! Did you know that there are over 13,000 insects and spiders in Florida? That figure doesn’t even include all of the other groups that people call “bugs”, but is still much larger than all of the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and plants put together! Our instructor, David Almquist, is the invertebrate zoologist at the Florida Natural Areas Inventory and has been working with Florida bugs for over 18 years. David, assisted by his young son Lukas and lovely wife Justine, will lead an exploratory nature hike that will provide insight into the abundance, diversity, habits and ecology of some of the bugs that occur at Birdsong and probably in your backyard. We will capture a variety of them, perhaps including dung beetles, and examine them close up.

This program is geared primarily towards children, but parents, naturalists and other adults are welcome and will find this to be an enlightening and enjoyable field experience. Wear long pants and closed-toed shoes for stepping off the trails, bring a net if you have one, and bring mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and water.

$4 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Contact us by Friday, September 15th, at noon.

Thursdays, September 7 and October 5
9:00AM to 11:30AM

Please join our Butterfly Garden volunteers on the first Thursday of the month to tend our beautiful Butterfly Garden! Bring gardening gloves, knee pads, clippers, and lunch if you wish to stay afterwards. Our gardeners would very much appreciate the donation of bags of clean leaf mulch for the Garden. Please be sure that the mulch does not contain any stray invasive plants that might take hold. Hand raked or purchased leaf mulch is best! Thank you!

For more information call Donna Legare at (850)386-1148 or Birdsong at (229)377-4408. Please note change of time.

Saturday, September 23
7:30AM to 9:30AM

Birdsong is a lovely place to be in the early morning. Join Executive Director Kathleen Brady for a ride through Birdsong’s fields and woods along with several stops for some easy-paced walks through even more variety of wildlife habitat. We will discuss the recent nesting season, gopher tortoises, our ongoing land management and look for whatever birds, wildflowers and animal sign Birdsong may have to offer on a September morning. Bring sun protection, binoculars and wear waterproof shoes and long pants; we may go off trail. We will visit the Bird Window and Butterfly Garden upon our return.

$6 Friends, $10 nonmembers, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Please call or email to reserve your space on the trailer by Friday, September 15 at noon.

Sunday, September 24
2 – 4PM

There is nothing quite so lovely as looking out your window or wandering in your yard and seeing nature's beauty in the form of a floating butterfly. Watching the transformation from egg, to caterpillar stages/instars, to chrysalis, to butterfly is a wonderful opportunity to experience life in progress, and is very inspiring for young and old alike.

Most have heard of the recent sharp decline of European honey bees, that pollinate many of our food crops. But many don't know that most of our native pollinators, which keep our natural ecosystems going and also pollinate 30-40% of our food, cotton crops, etc., are also in serious trouble.

We all can make a difference for our wildlife companions! There are many choices for nectar plants to feed adult butterflies and other pollinators, but recent research has shown that original natives are much preferred and more nutritive for butterflies and the other pollinating insects. Even cultivars of natives are not as effective.

For reproduction, most pollinators require native plants with which they co-evolved. Just as monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweeds, most insects also have specialized relationships with specific groups of native plants. So to have the most successful pollinator garden possible, we need to have many native plants.

Join Beth Wiggins Grant for this informative program and learn which plants are best to protect or plant (hint: many are trees you may already have!) and how to maximize your property to support our native wildlife, starting with the pollinators.

$4 Members, $8 non-members, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Please call or email by Saturday, September 23rd at noon to reserve your space. Dress for the weather and prepare for a short walk.

Saturday, September 30
9 – 12PM

Join us for a leisurely morning of early fall birding with Marvin Collins. We will walk to the east side of the property this time and visit a variety of excellent birding habitats including pine woods, mixed hardwoods, and the Spring Pond and Frog Pond. We’ll be watching and listening for fall migrants. Marvin will teach us the basics of birding by ear, and these wooded habitats will give us a great opportunity to learn what birds are calling and singing up in the canopy even when we can’t always get a good look at them. The hike will wrap up with a visit to the Bird Window. Dress for the weather and be prepared for hiking two or three miles. Bring binoculars, field guides, water and a snack.

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call or email to let us know you are coming by 4PM Friday, September 29th. $4 Friends, $8 non-members.

Saturday, September 30

If you are a parent, grandparent, or friend of a child please join leader Sandra Sallee to celebrate Take A Child Outside Week and take a child on a natural adventure at Birdsong. We will walk the trails where we may find evidence of deer, coyote, or other wildlife; see butterflies face-to-face; search for doodlebugs; and watch birds go about their daily activities at the Bird Window. We will practice using all our senses a we explore what nature has to offer. Sandra will then assist the children in making a nature-related craft to take home, possibly using any natural materials they have collected. This program is geared for children and accompanying adults who want to learn how to better share the wonders of nature with their favorite children. Resource material on outdoor activities will be provided.

$4 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half-price. RESERVATIONS PLEASE: we ask that you register by phone or email by Friday noon on September 29th so we know how many people to prepare for. All memberships and renewals are $5 off today - you may want to join or re-up so you can come back and enjoy more of Birdsong with your child during Take a Child Outside Week or the rest of the year!

Saturday, October 14
10AM - Noon

We are looking forward to this fall’s wildflower bloom. It will be fascinating to see what kind of response we get after this summer’s abundant rains. Please join us for a leisurely botany hike led by Guy Anglin. Guy is well qualified to help us learn about southeastern plant life and ecology, having had decades of experience working for many of the key agencies in Florida that protect our natural resources. For much of his career Guy was the Forest Botanist-Ecologist for the Florida National Forests, coordinating ecosystems management in three of our National Forests here in Florida, the Osceola, Apalachicola, and Ocala. His main interest is restoration ecology and he and his wife Jan Blue are working to restore longleaf pine and native groundcover to their land, which they have placed in conservation easement with Tall Timbers Research Station.

We know you will benefit from a walk in the woods with Guy and enjoy learning about Birdsong’s fall blooming wildflowers. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call or email by Friday, October 13th at noon to reserve your space. Dress for the weather and for walking, possibly off-trail. Bring any questions you might have about fall botany and ecology – Guy can help you. We’ll start and 10am and go as long as our guests are interested. You are welcome to bring lunch and have a picnic afterwards.

$5 Members, $9 non-members. Geared for adults.

With Hands On Thomas County
Saturday, October 21
9 AM – noon

Please join us for a busy volunteer event at Birdsong. This is a big day for Hands On Thomas County – every fall they send teams of hard-working volunteers to non-profits in need of help and we are one of those fortunate organizations on their list! Our construction team volunteers will be on site that day, helping to supervise. We can use many more hands to clean up the farm equipment shed, the Barn, the silos, and our storage shed, as well as weed and spruce up the House Garden and Bird Window and help with invasive plant removal. We’ll no doubt have additional projects to add by then - something for everyone!

You will get to meet a lot of nice people, including our new construction team that has been so busy this summer. So please come on out, bring your work gloves, loppers, shovels and enthusiasm and help give Birdsong a fall makeover! Thank you, Angela Kiminis, Executive Director of HOTC and Ali Harvey, Programs and Events Director, for including Birdsong in this wonderful community improvement day. Call or email for more information: (800-953-BIRD(2473) or

The events calendar and program descriptions can also be found in the Birdsong Newsletter, and on our Events section on Facebook.

Please call 229-377-4408 or email for more information.