Calendar of Events, May - June 2016
May  2016
Wednesday  May 4    Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Thursday   May 5    Butterfly Garden Workday
Saturday   May 7    Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Sunday     May 8    Mother’s Day Nature Walk
Wednesday  May 18   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Saturday   May 21   Ephemeral Wetlands Extravaganza
                    Bluebird Trail Monitoring
June 2016
Wednesday  June 1   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Thursday   June2    Butterfly Garden Work Day
Saturday   June 4   Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Saturday   June 11  Take a Child Outside
                      and Get Wet and Muddy!
Wednesday  June 15  Bluebird Trail Monitoring
Saturday   June 18  Gopher Tortoise Workshop
Saturday   June 25  Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
Wednesday  June 29  Bluebird Trail Monitoring 
~ Program Descriptions ~


Sunday, May 8
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 28 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 21 * POSTPONED *
9AM to 1PM

We will reschedule this postponed program soon!

Join us with ecologists Rebecca and Ryan Means of Coastal Plains Institute for the inaugural Birdsong Ephemeral Wetland Extravaganza! We have several ephemeral wetlands on Birdsong, such as the Spring Pond, Frog Pond and Big Bay Pond, and we are starting a citizen science program to monitor the amphibians that may be using these wetlands to breed. Rebecca and Ryan will guide you to and through several of our ephemeral wetlands and teach you amphibian larvae identification and sampling techniques. Come out and learn about our local amphibians (and more!), whether you would like to be part of our new citizen science program or just want to enjoy the morning at Birdsong. This program is geared towards citizens of all ages, including young ones, although there will be walking involved. All equipment will be provided. Plan to get wet!

$20 members, $25 non-members, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. There is a class limit of 20 people. Please contact us by Friday, May 20 at noon to reserve your space. Be prepared for walking several miles; wear shoes you can get wet; bring sun protection, water, and your lunch. A snack, dessert and drinks are included in the cost.

May 4, 7, 18, 21
June 1, 4, 15, 18, 29

The Bluebird Monitoring season is in full swing! Our Bluebird Trail team checks nest boxes every other Wednesday and Saturday. Join these veteran Bluebird volunteers 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.

Saturday, June 11
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 10th. $3 Friends, $5 nonmembers, children half-price. Includes a handout and resource list for year-round outdoor activities with children.

Thursdays, May 5 and June 2
9:30AM to Noon

Birdsong Butterfly Garden in Need of Donations We have a dedicated group of Butterfly Garden volunteers that works the First Thursday of each month, 9 - 11:30am. We weed, we plant, we prune and we finally have a member of our volunteer crew who has the knowledge and skills to maintain the drip irrigation system. George McEntire has reinvigorated the drip system and has donated one solar powered programmable irrigation valve, but he needs 2 more for a total of $150.

We are also in need of butterfly plants, both nectar and larval food plants. O'Toole's Herb Farm donated fennel and parsley plants for Black Swallowtails over the winter that are looking great right now. Native Nurseries donated red pentas, Chapel Hill lantanas, zinnias and Flowertone organic fertilizer in April and pine straw over the winter. We always need mulch - pine straw bales or bags of leaves and pine straw, but only if it is clean and free of weeds and invasive plants.

We would love to have you join our group every month or just whenever you can. If you would like to donate to the Butterfly gGarden, please send a check to Birdsong Nature Center with 'Butterfly Garden' in the memo line. Contact Donna Legare (850) 386-1148 or if you have any questions.

Saturday June 18th
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. We plan to continue to survey and map the locations of all burrows on Birdsong this year so we can take any additional needed care in our land management to protect and encourage this important ancient species.

Lora Smith, Ph.D., is an Associate Scientist at Jones Ecological Research Center. She is researching the effects of mammalian predation on gopher tortoises, and conducts additional research on upland snake ecology and pond-breeding amphibians. 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 has a special camera that can be inserted into the burrows so we can monitor any activity below ground, which should be fascinating.

$5 Friends, $8 non-members, children half-price. RESERVATIONS, PLEASE. Call (800)953-BIRD (2473) by noon on Friday, June 17th to reserve a space and learn how you can help protect gopher tortoise habitat near you.

Saturday, June 25
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 10-year old son Lukas, 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, hopefully 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 24th, at noon.

Please also see our Events section on Facebook for May-June event descriptions. It is open for all to view - login to Facebook is not required.

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