Calendar of Events, May - June 2017
Wed. 	 May   3   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Thurs.   May   4   Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat.     May   6   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sun.     May  14   Mother’s Day Walk
Wed.     May  17   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sat.     May  20   Bear Creek Educational Forest Hike
                   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Wed.     May  31   Bluebird Trail Monitoring

Thurs.   June  1   Butterfly Garden Work Day
Sat.     June  3   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sat.     June 10   Gopher Tortoise Workshop
Wed.     June 14   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sat.     June 17   Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
                   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sat.     June 24   Take a Child Outside and Get Wet and Muddy
Wed.     June 28   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
~ Program Descriptions ~

May 3, 6, 17 , 20 and 31
June 3, 14, 17 and 28

The Bluebird Monitoring season is in full swing! Our Bluebirds are busy nesting and Carolina Chickadees and Brown-headed Nuthatches are working on second broods. Our Bluebird Trail team checks nest boxes every other Wednesday and Saturday. Join our veteran Bluebird volunteers, Bob Bearss and Myles Black, for a fascinating morning in the field and learn all about Bluebirds! The job of visiting the 43 boxes, counting eggs and fledglings, recording observations, and cleaning and repairing boxes is a very valuable service to the Bluebirds and to Birdsong. Bring a friend and help the Bluebird! Call for more information: (229)377-4408

Thursdays, May 4 and June 1
9:30AM to Noon

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.

Sunday, May 14
2 - 4PM

Celebrate Mother’s Day in beautiful natural surroundings on a leisurely discovery walk with Beth Grant. Beth can remember the first time she herself went for a Mother’s Day walk here at Birdsong with her young son Brian 29 years ago! She writes “One of my first memories at Birdsong was in 1988 when my then 13 year old son did the Mother’s Day walk with me. It was a wonderful present!”

It is a great time of year for nesting birds, wildflowers and the refreshing green of spring. Enjoy the trails and then visit the Butterfly Garden and Bird Window. $4 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half-price.

Saturday, May 20 8AM – Noon

Join us for a nature hike at beautiful Bear Creek Educational Forest south of Quincy, Florida, led by expert birder Marvin Collins. We visited this site in November last year and decided it would be fun to return in springtime and see what nesting season is like here. This area’s natural features include steephead ravines, upland pinewoods and wetlands adjacent to Bear Creek. This is an excellent place to look for migrating and nesting birds that love these different habitats and it is full of interesting native plants. If you have not been here before, please put this one on your calendar – you’ll really enjoy it!

Please come prepared to walk, albeit leisurely. We will be out for about 3.5 hours hiking two separate trails. The walking will be of medium difficulty; the terrain is a little steep in some places. Please bring binoculars and dress appropriately: wear sturdy walking shoes and long pants. Bring water and a sandwich or snack. There are no restrooms out on the trails.

$5 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call by Friday, May 19 at 4PM. Meet at 8AM at the Steinmart parking lot in front of Newk’s in the Village Creek shopping plaza on Thomasville Road across from Wells Fargo and Books-a-Million, or meet us at Bear Creek at 8:30AM. Bring sun protection, water, insect repellent and cash for the park entrance fee. Please see www.fl-dof/bearcreekeducationalforest for directions and more information.

Saturday, June 10, 2017
10AM to Noon

The gopher tortoise plays a significant ecological role in longleaf pine and sandhill communities in the southeast. It is classified as a threatened species in the states of Georgia and Florida and is under consideration for threatened status federally, primarily because of widespread habitat loss. At Birdsong we are fortunate to have a number of active gopher tortoise burrows quite close to our trails, so they can be easily observed. Lora Smith, Ph.D., is a Scientist at Jones Ecological Research Center in Newton, Georgia. She is researching the effects of mammalian predation on gopher tortoises, and conducts additional research on upland snake ecology and pond-breeding amphibians. She has provided excellent tortoise programs at Birdsong for several years as a representative of the Gopher Tortoise Council.

Lora will offer an informative power point presentation on the gopher tortoise’s life history and ecology. Our group will then ride out in the field to locate a number of tortoise burrows. Lora will bring her special camera that can be inserted into the burrows so we can monitor any activity below ground, which is always fascinating! $6 Friends, $10 non-members.

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. This program is geared for adults. Call (800)953-BIRD (-2473) by noon on Friday, June 9th to reserve a space on the trailer and learn how you and your family can help protect gopher tortoise habitat near you.

Saturday, June 17
2 – 4PM

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, June 16, at 4PM.

Saturday, June 24
9:30AM - Noon

Celebrate summer at Birdsong with your favorite child or children. Leader Sandra Sallee and Executive Director Kathleen Brady will take you to discover the underwater inhabitants of the Farm Pond and Upper Pond. We’ll observe the many fascinating adaptations that plants and animals have for living in an aquatic environment. Please bring a clean dishpan or bucket that has had no chemicals or soap in it, a dip net if you have one, boots, waders or old tennis shoes for wading in, a change of clothes for the ride home, and sun protection. Bring lunch if you want to stay and picnic afterward. Enjoy learning something new and have a special experience with your child in the great, wet outdoors.

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE, so we know how many to prepare for. Please sign up by noon, Friday, June 23rd. $4 Friends, $8 nonmembers, children half-price. Includes a handout and resource list for year-round outdoor activities with children.

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.