Christmas Bird Count
Dec
30
7:30 AM07:30

Christmas Bird Count

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will hold it’s Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 30, 2017. 

The Christmas Bird Count is an annual event in which groups all over the world spend a day surveying birds in their region, thus creating a snapshot of the health and numbers of bird populations. It is also a great way to learn about Keys birds and the environment. 

The first count was held on Christmas Day in 1900, and it has been a staple of nature-lovers calendar ever since.

Birders of all experiences and abilities are welcome at the count, but space is limited and the organizers ask those interested to contact them by December 26 (preferably sooner) at keysaudubon@gmail.com

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Peggy Koontz from Key West Wildlife Center
Dec
6
6:30 PM18:30

Peggy Koontz from Key West Wildlife Center

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will continue it’s speaker series on Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. 

The speaker will be Peggy Koontz of the Key West Wildlife Center. Koontz will speak about Hurricane Irma and it’s aftermath, and how it effected the local bird population. 

Koontz said that one of the more unexpected things was that, “more animals were taken down by storm-caused pollution than by traumatic injuries from wind and rain.” 

“Peggy and the crew from the Wildlife Center have been on the front lines since the storm. No one has a better idea of the near term effects on our wildlife than she does,” said Mark Hedden, Executive Director of FKAS.

There may also be a guest appearance by Augie the Hawk. 

Chris Guinto, who was slated to speak about crocodiles at this meeting, will be rescheduled for a later date.

Admissions is free and open to anyone who is interested.

For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 305-771-5807.

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Pete Frezza on Weds, Nov 1
Nov
1
6:30 PM18:30

Pete Frezza on Weds, Nov 1

The Florida Keys Audubon Society’s speaker series will kick off for the season this Wednesday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. 
The speaker will be Pete Frezza, Research Manager for the Everglades Region at Audubon Florida.

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Hawk Mania 2017
Oct
13
to Oct 15

Hawk Mania 2017

HM for site.jpg

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will hold its annual Hawk Mania event this Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14. It’s a chance to see and learn about the tens of thousands of hawks, falcons, eagles and ospreys that migrate through the Keys each fall.


On Friday at 6:30 p.m., bird-of-prey expert Jeff Bouton of Leica Sport Optics will speak at the Studios of Key West at 533 Eaton Street. Bouton will speak about his origins as a birding professional. He has worked as a bird bander, a hawk counter, a birding guide, and a field researcher all over the United States. He has led a team of competitive birdwatchers through Israel, and has sought out rare and beautiful birds pretty much anywhere you can point to on a map.


On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be an all-day hawk watch at Higgs beach, between the Key West Garden Club and the White Street Pier. The hawk watch is a chance to catch sight of birds like Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, Short-tailed Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, and Bald Eagles as they migrate south. On hand will be knowledgeable birdwatchers such as Jeff Bouton, Rafael Galvez, director of the Florida Keys Hawk Watch, and Florida Keys Audubon representatives Mark Hedden and Mark Whiteside. There will also be bird walk at 10 a.m. led by local bird expert Dr. Mark Whiteside, seeking out songbirds and shorebirds in the immediately adjacent areas.


The event is open and free to kids and adults and anyone who is interested. No experience necessary.


For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com.

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Spring Migration Bird Walk
Apr
22
8:00 AM08:00

Spring Migration Bird Walk

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will hold a Spring Migration bird walk on Saturday, April 22, which is also Earth Day. They walk starts at 8 a.m. at Indigenous Park at 1801 White Street. 
“Every spring, hundreds of thousands of birds migrate from South America and the Caribbean heading towards their breeding territories up north,. Many of those birds stop in the Keys. A bird walk this time of year offers a really great chance to see some of the world’s most beautiful critters,” said FKAS executive director Mark Hedden. 
The walk is free and open to everyone who is interested. 
Participants are advised to wear sunscreen and a hat, and to binoculars and a bottle of water.
For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com

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Jim Hale talks pigeon
Apr
5
6:30 PM18:30

Jim Hale talks pigeon

The Florida Keys Audubon Society’s speaker series will continue on Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. 

The speaker will be Jim Hale, who is sometimes referred to as the Pigeon King of Key West. Hale raises, trains and races homing pigeons and has won many awards. He is familiar to many Key Westers as the man who releases white pigeons at weddings and other events. Hale also takes in Cuban pigeons that have been blown off course and landed in the Keys.

“Jim is an endless fount of information about what birders call the Rock Pigeon, a bird that has some amazingly malleable genetic materials. A great way to learn about natural selection is to study what happens with selective breeding in a creature like the pigeon,” said Mark Hedden, executive director of the Florida Keys Audubon Society.

Admissions is free and open to anyone who is interested.

For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 305-771-5807.

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Kate Watts on White-crowned Pigeons
Mar
8
6:30 PM18:30

Kate Watts on White-crowned Pigeons

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will continue its speaker series on Wednesday, March 8, with Kate Watts, the Lead Wildlife Biologist at the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex. 

Watts will give a talk entitled “From Zapata to Duval Street - A Look into the Captivating Life of the White-crowned Pigeon.” 

The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. on March 8 and take place at the Key West Garden Club at 1100 Atlantic Boulevard.

Admissions is free and open to anyone who is interested.

She’ll be discussing the life history, distribution and movement of the the white-crowned pigeon, as well as trends in nesting in the lower Keys. She will alsohighlight things that people can do to help conserve these unique birds.

Kate Watts is the Lead Wildlife Biologist at the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, coordinating research and monitoring of over 30 federally listed plants and animals that call the Lower Keys home.  Her background in avian research has allowed her to live all across the US, working with species ranging from the Red Knots and Piping Plovers of Delaware Bay, Marbled Godwits of Humboldt Bay, waterfowl and shorebirds in the California's Central Valley, California Condors of Los Padres National Forest and the Great White Heron of the Florida Keys.  Of course, she enjoys birding in her spare time. 

For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 305-771-5807.

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Monthly Meeting: Mark Whiteside and Beryn Harty
Jan
4
6:30 PM18:30

Monthly Meeting: Mark Whiteside and Beryn Harty

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will kick off it’s 2017 Lecture Series on Wednesday, January 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Key West Garden Club at 1100 Atlantic Blvd.

The speakers will be Dr. Mark Whiteside and Beryn Harty. Whiteside is president of FKAS and a lifelong birdwatchers. Harty is a broad-based naturalist and photographer. Their program is entitled “Stump The Doctor: A Virtual Bird Walk.” 

Audience members are invited to participate by either bringing in their own pictures of hard to identify birds, or emailing them in ahead of time.

Admissions is free and open to anyone who is interested. 

For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com, visit www.keysaudubon.org, or call 305-771-5807.

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Christmas Bird Count
Dec
31
7:30 AM07:30

Christmas Bird Count

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will hold it’s Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 31, 2016. 


The Christmas Bird Count is an annual event in which groups all over the world spend a day surveying birds in their region, thus creating a snapshot of the health and numbers of bird populations. It is also a great way to learn about Keys birds and the environment. 
The first count was held on Christmas Day in 1900, and it has been a staple of nature-lovers calendar ever since.


Birders of all experiences and abilities are welcome at the count, but space is limited and the organizers ask those interested to contact them by December 28 (preferably sooner) at keysaudubon@gmail.com. 

We'll be done in time for everyone to make it to their New Year's Eve parties.

 

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Oct
14
to Oct 15

Hawk Mania 2016

HAWK MANIA

Every fall tens of thousands of hawks, eagles and falcons migrate through the Florida Keys, a phenomenon that is surprisingly easy to miss. It makes us want to grab everyone we see by the shirt collar and point all the birds out to them. Instead we've created an event: Hawk Mania.

It's a chance for anyone who'd interested to come out and see the visible miracle of migration.

The two main events will be a keynote talk by internationally renowned hawk expert Rafael Galvez on Friday, October 14, and all day Hawk Watch at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park on Saturday, October 15.

We've also added a few satellite events this year – a beach walk with seabird expert Cameron Cox on Friday morning, and on Saturday a songbird walk, a butterfly walk, and a seawatch.

Check out the schedule below. And come out for a little while or for all the events. We'd love to see you.

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. There is a fee to get into Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

 

SCHEDULE


Friday, October 14

9 a.m. on Friday
“Littorally Birding: Looking for birds where the sea meets the sky”
Join Cameron Cox, author of “Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching” for a short walk and talk and a chance to learn about the habits of shore birds, wading birds, and the birds of the open ocean (also known as pelagic birds). Meet at the base of White Street Pier. (Map)

6:30 p.m. on Friday
Rafael Galvez keynote: “Southbound & Down: Bird Migration in the Florida Keys”
Rafael Galvez is the director of the Florida Keys Hawk Watch, a well as a highly regarded wild life artist and a guide for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. He knows more about birds migration in the Keys than anyone. Come listen to him speak the gospel of avifauna.
Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Boulevard. (Map)


Saturday, October 15

9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday
Hawk Watch at Fort Zach. Stop by for a few minutes or the whole day. Mid-October is the peak of the annual raptor migration through the Keys. We can almost guarantee seeing a Peregrine Falcon (the fastest bird on the planet) as well as good chances at several other species of hawks and falcons, including Northern Harriers, Broad-winged Hawks, Short-tailed Hawks, Merlins, American Kestrels, Ospreys and Bald Eagles. Chief counters will be
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.


9:30 a.m. on Saturday
Songbird walk with Dr. Mark Whiteside
Songbirds, small, colorful birds that – also know as passerines – are also migrating through the Keys at this time of year. Long-time birder and Florida Keys Audubon society president Mark Whiteside will lead a short walk around the park’s native hardwood hammock. 
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

11:00 a.m. on Saturday
Butterfly walk with Amy Grimm and Leigh Williams
Join the Big Pine Key dynamic duo of butterflies – Amy Grimm and Leigh Williams – for a short walk around the edge areas of the park, seeking some of nature’s most delicate and beautiful winged creatures. 
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park..

2:00 p.m. on Saturday
Seawatch with Cameron Cox
Living on an island, you never know what is going to fly by. Come spend a little time with Cameron at the water’s edge to find out. Frigatebirds, gannets, boobies, pelicans, gulls, terns… Could be anything.
Meet at the tent in the field at the west end of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.


 

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Dry Tortugas Birding
May
5
7:00 AM07:00

Dry Tortugas Birding

Loose, informal trip out the Dry Tortugas, one of the great places in the world to see migrant birds, as well as several species of birds that are very difficult to see anywhere else in the United States. If you want to come, please send us an email at keysaudubon@gmail.com, then book yourself a space on the Yankee freedom. $175 per person / $109 with local ID.
Book by calling 800-634-0939

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Bird Walk with Andy Wraithmell
May
4
8:00 AM08:00

Bird Walk with Andy Wraithmell

A chance to see some of the later migrant birds moving through the Keys. Co-led by Florida Keys Audubon Society director Mark Hedden and Great Florida Birding Trail information specialist Andy Wraithmell. Meet in the parking lot of Indigenous Park at 8 a.m.

Participants are advised to bring a hat, binoculars, and a bottle of water.

 

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Migration Bird Walk
Apr
23
8:00 PM20:00

Migration Bird Walk

Migration is on! Which means there are a lot if warlbers and other songbirds to be seen. Meet at the parking lot at Indigenous Park. We will bird inside the park and in some nearby environs. Bring a hat, sunscreen, binoculars, and a bottle of water. Led by Dr. Mark Whiteside and Mark Hedden.
Participants are advised to bring a hat, binoculars, and a bottle of water.

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Monthly Meeting: Jerry Lorenz
Apr
13
6:30 PM18:30

Monthly Meeting: Jerry Lorenz

Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay: Pink Canaries in a Coal Mine

In his presentation, Dr. Lorenz pulls together Audubon’s 80 year record on spoonbill nesting patterns in Florida Bay with his personal experience in studying the fish on which spoonbills feed, thereby constructing a story of how the human population explosion in southern Florida has had a multilevel effect on spoonbills.  During the development boom, seemingly unrelated events serially reduced the spoonbill’s foraging habitats in domino like fashion resulting in a dramatic decline in spoonbill nesting success that continues today.  His most recent work of banding and tracking spoonbills finally explains why it took so long for spoonbills to recover from the plume hunting and why spoonbills in Florida Bay continue to decline while most other wading birds in the Everglades region are increasing.  Dr. Lorenz demonstrates how the destruction of wetlands for urban and agricultural use have not only endangered spoonbills, but myriad other creatures and entire ecosystems.  Ecosystems that drive our tourist based economy.  Like the canary in a coal mine, Roseate Spoonbills are letting us know that there is something drastically wrong with our environment and that continued runaway development will not only ruin our remaining wildness areas but our lifestyles as well. 

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Monthly Meeting: Mark Hedden "Natural History of the Cuban Finch"
Feb
3
6:30 PM18:30

Monthly Meeting: Mark Hedden "Natural History of the Cuban Finch"

The Florida Keys Audubon Society will continue it’s monthly lecture series on February 3 at 6:30 p.m. with speaker Mark Hedden.

The title of Hedden’s talk is “The Natural History of the Cuban Finch: Everything you need to know about the Florida Keys’ most confounding bird.”

Hedden is a writer, photographer, birding guide, and executive director the the Keys chapter.

“I’m pretty sure I have seen as many Cuban Finches as anyone else on the planet, but I’ve never managed to take a photo of one,” said Hedden. “They are an amazingly elusive bird, and I hope to illuminate some of the myths surrounding them, and answer any possible questions people might have about them.”

The talk will be held at the Key West Garden Club at 1100 Atlantic Blvd. It is free and open to the public.

For more information email keysaudubon@gmail.com.

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Hawk Mania: Hawkwatch at Fort Zachary Taylor
Oct
17
9:00 AM09:00

Hawk Mania: Hawkwatch at Fort Zachary Taylor

About 30,000 raptors fly through the Florida Keys every fall. In fact, more Peregrine Falcons have been counted migrating through here than any other place in the world. We also see Short-tailed Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Merlins, American Kestrels, Ospreys and Bald Eagles.

Florida Keys Audubon Society, along with Jeff Bouton from Leica Sport Optics, and Rafael Galvez from the Florida Keys Hawkwatch, will spend the day scanning the skies and pointing out migrating raptors. We'll also take a survey of their numbers to compare with the birds passing through the Florida Keys Hawkwatch site in Marathon. The folks from Key West Wildlife Center will also be there with some education birds.

 

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Hawk Mania: Jeff Bouton talk
Oct
15
6:00 PM18:00

Hawk Mania: Jeff Bouton talk

Jeff Bouton fell in love with hawks about 25 years ago, when they were first pointed out to him as they migrated over his hometown in upstate New York. He was immediately hooked. Since then he has worked as the official counter at Cape May (which is pitching in the big leagues), and he has guided and birded everywhere from Alaska to Trinidad and Tobago to Panama. He has also been a pioneer in the world of digiscoping – the fine are of shooting pictures of birds with through telescopes with point and shoot cameras. When he is not chasing birds, he travels around the country as a prodcut specialist for Leica Sport Optics.
He’ll talk about why he can never see enough hawks, and why he thinks the Florida Keys is one of the best kept secrets in birding world.

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