Alachua Audubon Society

A chapter of the National Audubon Society


All AAS Programs are free and open to the general public. Until further notice all programs are online via Zoom. The necessary information is provided in the descriptions.

It is our intent to record and post videos of as many of the programs as we can. You will find those below with their respective program descriptions.

Upcoming Programs

The Zoom link for this program is here. Join by clicking the link at the time of the program.

Winter Hummingbirds with Fred Bassett

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

Perhaps you were able to see our spring program on hummingbirds with Fred Bassett. Now we will view a talk given by Fred that is specifically designed to help you coax some western hummingbirds to your feeder this winter. You will hear specific hints on this process and see some outstanding photos of these migrating western hummingbirds.

The Zoom link for this program is here. Join by clicking the link at the time of the program.

A Chemist’s View of Birds in Costa Rica

Tuesday December 7, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a visual treat! William J. Cooper, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine and now living in Florida will share his photographic treats with us. His videos were all taken at the Pierella Ecological Garden, Horquetas de Sarapiqui. This garden was the vision of William Camacho. Mr. Camacho started raising blue morpho butterflies in a 20 meter by 20 meter enclosure in 1995 and by selling them through the Costa Rica Entomological Supply he was able to buy more land for the present 3 hectares (7.5 acres) garden. The biodiversity of birds there is spectacular and provides a unique opportunity to study several species such as the White-tailed Manakin and the White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird.

The Zoom link for this program is here. Join by clicking the link at the time of the program.

Past Programs

Bees of the long-leaf pine ecosystem (06 October 2021)

Shiala Naranjo is a lab manager and field researcher at the Pollinator Ecology and Conservation Lab led by Dr. Rachel Mallinger at the University of Florida. Her past experiences include evaluating how wildflowers support pollinator communities at Michigan State University, University of Central Florida, and the University of Minnesota. Shiala will discuss the biology, diversity and conservation of bees in long-leaf pine savannas. This ecosystem once covered much of the southeastern U.S. coastal plain, but now currently occupies less than 3% of its historic range. Watch to learn what, when and how to spot bees in this threatened ecosystem.

Robert Gundy and Natasza Fontaine share the adventures of their Florida Big Year (25 September 2021)

Have you ever done a Big Day? A Big Year? In this presentation, Robert Gundy and Natasza Fontaine shared the adventures of their 2020 Florida Big Year. Some of you may have followed their postings as they drove around Florida searching to add as many species to their list as they could. Their entertaining talk covered highs and lows, wet nights and dry days and plenty of mileage on their vehicles. Final count: Robert 388 species, Natasza 386 species. Lots of fascinating stories in this one!

Changes in Attitude: Latitudinal shifts in social roles within avian mobs of North America (4 August 2021)

Featuring Dr. Katie Sieving of the UF Dept. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation and director of the AAS Bird Banding Lab. She talked about winter mobbing flocks – mainly how titmice, nuthatches, chickadees and downy woodpeckers vary in mob participation between FL, TN, and IN. Here in FL, titmice rule the mobs but as we move north they take a back seat to nuthatches. These core mobbing and flocking species have complicated relationships but they are commonly together and their togetherness benefits them (and other species, too)! We will explore these relationships beyond mobbing flocks too.

(We will add the recording of this program shortly)

Two Weeks in Thailand (13 July 2021)

Scott Flamand is a former president of Alachua Audubon Society (2001-2005) and retired science teacher who taught over 5,000 students over his 37 years as a teacher (mostly Biology) at Gainesville’s Buchholz High School.
Scott will share stories and photos of birds and wildlife from his adventure in Thailand in early 2020. Join him for photos of dozens of bird species including: Bulbuls, Hornbills, Sunbirds, Treepies, and Laughingthrushes. He will also include many mammals and a handful of herps.Many of you attended our standing-room only program when Scott shared his birding trip to India. We’re sure you will enjoy this talk too!

(We will add the recording of this program shortly)

Springs and Aquifer Protection is for the Birds (29 June 2021)

Join us to hear and see Dr. Bob Knight, Director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, describe the worsening threats to Florida’s artesian springs and the Floridan Aquifer that springs rely on, and how one approach to protecting the springs also enhances birdlife. Prior to founding the Florida Springs Institute, Bob was President of Wetland Solutions, an environmental engineering firm specializing in design and implementation of constructed treatment wetlands. In addition to working on more than 200 treatment wetland projects nationwide, Bob started and ended his wetlands career conceptualizing and helping to design Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands. This project not only cleanses nitrogen from about 2 billion gallons of the City’s wastewater and stormwater that enters the aquifer each year at Alachua Sink, but it also is home to one of the most diverse and productive birding hotspots in North Florida. Bob will describe how other large utilities throughout the state’s 27 million acre Springs Region can play their part in protecting the most important drinking water supply in Florida while enhancing their environmental stewardship.

(We will add the recording of this program shortly)

Alaska: Birding the Last Frontier with Andy Bankert (14 May 2021)

From the lush rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to the barren Arctic tundra, Alaska boasts a large diversity of birds over its vast and varied landscape. This presentation will bring the audience on a tour throughout the state to get a closeup look at the state of the birdlife from species familiar to Coloradans, like the American Dipper, to birds seen nowhere else on the North American continent like Spectacled Eiders and Red-legged Kittiwakes. This presentation is sure to spark the sense of awe and wonder that drew Andy up to the 49th state for summer after summer of field work.
Born and raised in central Florida, Andy Bankert has been a birder since receiving the National Geographic Field Guide for his 5th birthday, and his hobby has taken him all over the country and other parts of the world searching for birds. He has worked as a field technician for the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies all over the Great Plains region, a shorebird and seabird biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service across Alaska, and a seabird surveyor in Hawaii. His plan to work as a tour guide on Alaska’s St. Paul Island this year got derailed, so he now spends his time photographing Alaska’s birds and wildlife, harvesting fish and berries for the winter, and analyzing grassland bird data for Bird Conservancy of the Rockies based out of Colorado.(We will add the recording of this program shortly)

Hummingbirds! (12 April 2021)

HUMMINGBIRDS! This month we will focus on one of the area’s most popular birds, the hummingbird. Fred Bassett is known in this area as he frequently comes here to band hummingbirds from his base in Alabama. We asked Fred to give us a zoom talk and he replied that he has many requests and thus has created a recorded presentation that he hopes we will use. And we will!After viewing Fred’s 30 minute talk we will have a panel of local bird enthusiasts who have a long history of contact with Fred and extensive knowledge of hummingbirds to field questions and tell of experiences with Fred. We hope you will join us on zoom. Just click on the link below.

(We will add the recording of this program shortly)

Breaking New Ground with Florida Scrub-Jay Translocations (16 March 2021)

Join us to hear Breaking New Ground with Florida Scrub-Jay Translocations. Dr. Karl Miller of FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute will share the latest findings from his translocation research on Florida Scrub-Jays. Karl and his team are translocating jays from Ocala National Forest to conservation lands in north and south Florida to achieve multiple objectives. New techniques, used at different times of the year, are proving beneficial for the safe and effective translocation of this threatened species.

Zoom failed to record the full program but what we have of it (including the excellent Q&A portion) will be coming soon.

Conservation Ecology of Short-tailed Hawks, Swallow-tailed Kites, and Snail Kites (15 February 2021)

Gina Kent of the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) shares her latest research on tracking, migration, and monitoring opportunities for three magnificent Florida raptors including GPS-tracked Snail Kites from Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This Snail Kite research was made possible with support from Alachua Audubon and St. Pete Audubon.

The 2020 Christmas Bird Count In Alachua County, a Synopsis (21 January 2020)

Andrew Kratter discusses the historical significance and importance of doing a yearly count. He also discusses the most recent count and trends seen. In December the count up was done by computer on zoom due to the pandemic. What have we learned this year?

Program: Bird Bling (3 Dec 2020)

Bling- expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry, or the wearing of them. So why are birds wearing those brightly colored bracelets on their legs? You may think that you know a lot about bird banding but here is a program that will give you a new insight into the “why” of bird banding. Join bird bander, Adam Dinuovo, Audubon staff member from the Naples, Marco Island area, as he shares his experiences banding Black Skimmers at the Florida coast.
Adam DiNuovo has been the SW FL Shorebird Program Manager for Audubon FL since April 2015. He has worked on seabird and shorebird research projects from coast to coast for the past 20 years. Projects have included American Oystercatchers in SC, Piping Plovers in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Atlantic Puffins and Arctic Terns in ME. Prior to his arrival in Florida, he was the Research Coordinator for the California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover Program at San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research and the Sanctuary Manager for National Audubon’s Project Puffin in ME.

Program: Building Better Birding Skills by Adam Kent (9 Nov 2020)

Do you know how to identify individual Downy Woodpeckers based on their head patterns; how to identify a Tricolored Heron based on bill length; or how to tell an American Crow from a Fish Crow when it is calling, even if you can’t hear it? Adam will answer these questions and more in this presentation geared toward birding in your neighborhood.

Here is a list of books mentioned in the program:

By Kenn Kaufman: Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding: Understanding What You See and Hear (2011)

By Donald Kroodsma: The Singing Life of Birds (2005), Birdsong by the Seasons (2009), and Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist, (2020)

By Nathan Pieplow: Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America (2017)

By David Sibley: Sibley’s Birding Basics (2002), The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior (2001), and What It’s Like to Be a Bird (2020)

And here is a link to the eBird Alachua County Bird Observations bar chart:


Program: A New Wetland in Gainesville! (4 Nov 2020)

Gainesville Regional Utilities and their partners, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Suwanee River Water Management District, plan to create a groundwater recharge wetland park near Diamon Sports Park (western Alachua County). The wetland park will create valuable wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities while simultaneously replenishing the Floridan Aquifer, which will help support flows at the Santa Fe River and its springs. During the presentation Kristen Sealey, GRU Engineer and Rick Hutton, GRU Supervising Engineer, will provide background about the project and share the multiple benefits the park will bring to the community and environment.


October Program – A Fight Against Time (8 Oct 2020)

Thursday evening, October 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Nordmann’s Greenshank is one of the most endangered shorebirds on our planet. Join UF grad student Philipp Maleko as he tells of his adventures in Eastern Russia working with Russian ornithologists wading through bog and forest to study this rare animal.



Urban Mockingbird Song Diversity

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Millhopper Library, 6:30 p.m., (social time 6:00 p.m.)

The Northern Mockingbird is our Florida State Bird and Floridians love hearing its rich repertoire of calls and songs. A U of FL researcher is studying this bird right here in our Northwest Gainesville neighborhoods! Is there more song diversity in urban or rural Mockingbirds? What has been learned?


Saving Wildlife – Serving Community:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Millhopper Library, 6:30 p.m. (social time 6:00 p.m.)

Injured, orphaned, displaced wildlife are only part of our mission. Equally important are human interactions and conservation efforts.

Note: This talk precedes an Alachua Audubon field trip to look for birds on
the grounds of Sunrise Wildlife Rehabilitation in High Springs the following
Saturday, February 22. Public welcome.


A Fight Against Time

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Millhopper Library, 6:30 p.m. (social time 6:00 p.m.)

Nordmann’s Greenshank is one of the most endangered shorebirds on our planet. Listen to Philipp Maleko tell of his adventures in Eastern Russia working with Russian ornithologist wading through bog and forest to study this rare animal.


Adventures and Discoveries Through Photography

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Millhopper Library, 6:00 social time 6:30 program

Over the last 15 years, Drew Fulton’s photography has taken him to some incredible and unexpected places. From the swamps of Florida Everglades to the outback of Australia, from the sea floor in Turkey to the high forest canopy of Borneo, join Drew as he takes you on a journey through his lens and shares some of the natural history stories he experienced along the way.


Last Updated October 8th, 2021, Tim Hardin

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