2016-17 Calendar‎ > ‎

Field Trips & Special Events

Visit 2016-17 Calendar for details. 

SPAS field trips and programs are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. Email us at president@stpeteaudubon.org with any questions.

Monthly Bird Walk at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Join us June 3 at 7:45 a.m. in the parking lot to walk the trails at Boyd Hill. to discover what birds live at Boyd Hill.  The preserve is located at 1101 Country Club Way South • St. Petersburg, Florida • 33705

STA 5 Adventure                                                                                     Photos: Laura Packard

I spy ...When SPAS scheduled a trip to STA5 this year my birding buddies told me it was a trip not to be missed - and they were correct! STA5 can be visited only by appointment. The eBird lists for the site report more than two hundred species in and out of the location. My target bird was the Snail Kite, and my birding-buddy's a Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher. (So you don't spend the next five minutes on the edge of your seat wondering, we saw both.)

I was fortunate enough to be caravan-ing behind our president, Ms Judi Hopkins, and to ride with board member, Laura Witt-Packard. Ms. Judi saw to it that we left early enough the day prior to  bird our way down to Clewiston - beginning around the back door to Myakka State Park and winding our way through the back roads between there and STA5. The birding was good, and birding outside the confines of a park fun, and we listed a fair number of the usual suspects. The real treat for me, though, was that Laura spotted a Fox Squirrel, which I'd only seen once before, and that time only briefly. This time, I had a nice long look as we were able to watch him bounding through a field and then across the road (Be careful, Little Guy!) and into the woods.

Glossy Ibis

This was my first time stopping in - as opposed to driving through - Clewiston. Our accommodations were surprisingly nice for a town that is, according to the Google lady, fifty miles from the nearest Publix. During dinner, we organized the group into car parties so that we took as few vehicles as possible into the preserve. Ms. Judi had arranged for the hotel to open their breakfast bar early just for SPAS, and next morning, well-fed, our caravan headed out into the dark. There had been some breakfast talk about catching sight an owl on the way - and on cue one flew low over the cane fields, though not everyone got a look.

At STA5, we were met by Henry Glades Audubon, and told that an Ani had been seen recently - right there in the car park. I'm not sure if anyone in the group spotted it - I was focused on the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise....and my search for a Snail Kite. The trip through STA5 was a joy. Most of the tracks are one car-width only, so the wildlife is very, very close. Shorebirds were abundant, including more Glossy Ibis than I'd ever seen at once. Ms. Judi was on the watch for American Bittern, and found us more than one. We were also fortunate to catch both the Black-bellied and the Fulvous Whistling Ducks - in flight and in the water. Each car was equipped with a walkie, so we were all able to benefit from the eagle-eyed spotting of some of the more experienced birders in the convoy. Grey-headed Swamphen were target birds for a lot of the birders, and though it took some digging, they finally made an appearance. Raptors were ever present - a couple of the Red-shouldered Hawks played guess-what-I-am with the experts in the group - and seen were Crested Caracara, Kestrel, and enough Peregrine that the catch phrase in my car eventually became "nope - just another peregrine".

Photo opp
After several hours of birding, the group met back at the car park. Some participants headed home, others to different locations, and a few of us (myself included as I was still sans a Snail Kite), reorganized into different vehicles and set back out into the preserve. The birding continued to be good. My Snail Kite not only made an appearance, but was kind enough to pose long enough for everyone in our group to get a nice long look and some great photos. Did I mention that the birding continued to be good? Good enough that, when we finally made our way to the front of the park, we found ourselves locked in, and in need of rescue by a very kind officer from FWC. (Still with the mirrored sunglasses, though.) We happily found Laura her Scissor-tailed Flycatcher right outside the entrance to the preserve. Not only did we manage to avoid being run over by the gargantuan farming vehicles, the birds put on a nice show for her, so we were both able to say we ticked off our target birds.
Got locked in!

As an expedition trip, STA5/6 was definitely the don't-miss-it trip I'd been told it was. It was a privilege to be able to enter the area, and the entire event was beautifully organized and executed by our fearless leader. My thanks to everyone with whom I birded for their patience and their willingness to share information, and to my car-gang for their sense of humor.

No, Pat - that’s just another peregrine.

Painting with a Purpose for Project Shorebird

Thank you for those who painted this beach scene with St. Pete Audubon fundraiser for Project Shorebird.

PWAT $35

For next season we will host another fun event with Painting with A Twist.

Pinellas County Bird Checklist

Bird Checklist
Select the Bird Checklist or checklist to download the Pinellas County Bird Checklist.

American Birding Association Principles of Birding Ethics

Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.

Code of Birding Ethics (Excerpt) 
  1. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment
  2. Photography use artificial light sparingly, especially for close-ups
  3. Respect the law, and the rights of others
  4. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe. 

Don't Be a Nuisance when Photographing Birds

Watch the video to learn the recommendations of ethical behavior when Photographing Birds.

Ethical Behavior when Photographing Birds