Our Natural Places

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(Header Image: Sandhill Cranes) One of the interesting things about the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is that observers are assigned to a specific geographic area within which to conduct a census. In our area, we have urban, suburban and rural spots which include lakes, parks, wetlands, forests and pasture land to explore. This diversity of habitat provides great potential for seeing a good mix of species as well as large numbers… Read More

Stepping into the warm water of Tampa Bay, a school of mullet moved ahead of me as though it was one large organism. Occasionally one would jump and smack the water’s surface and I would once again wish for proficiency in the art of throwing a cast net. A much larger splash behind me turned out to be a Brown Pelican crashing onto a school of sardines. The East Beach turnaround is… Read More

(Header image: Buff-breasted Sandpiper) Today’s title may seem like an oxymoron, but species defined as shorebirds spend a lot of time at places other than the shore, such as mud flats, marshes, agricultural fields and even forests. During migration, shorebirds stop at historically food-rich locations to refuel and rest on their annual trek. Even commercial sod farms. Green. Horizon to horizon. Small tractors scuttled around the fields and large flatbed trucks trundled… Read More