Check here in late August for 2018-9 schedule. See you in September.


SFAS Program Meetings
Active: Sept - April
Annual Report
When: Program Meetings are held the Second Tuesday of each month at 6:45pm.

Where:Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall, 204 SR 26, Melrose

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Photo Credits
Photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted and were provided with permission by:
Ann Stodola
Dr. Jeff Smith
John Sloane
Richard Segall
Carol Sallette
Anne Pierce
Ida Little
Joyce King
Ray Franklin
Bill Chitty
Sallie Carlock
Jan & Bill Bolte
Keith Bollum
Bob Bird


Christmas Bird Count
December 2016
On December 16th, 2017, 44 participants from Santa Fe Audubon, Alachua and Duval Audubon, and others fanned out in boats, cars, and on foot to survey all the birds that could be seen and heard for the 27th annual Melrose Christmas Bird Count (CBC). This dedicated effort resulted in locating 113 species of birds. The Melrose CBC covers a 15-mile diameter circle centered at the intersection of SR 219 and SR 100 that encompasses parts of Clay, Putnam, Alachua, and Bradford Counties. Many bird-rich natural areas occur in this circle and include Lake Santa Fe, Santa Fe Swamp, Gold Head Branch State Park, the Ordway Preserve, and numerous lakes and forests. At the end of the day-long survey, participants congregated at Betty’s Pizza in Melrose to tally the results, to share stories of the day’s birding highlights, and of course to feast on the local cuisine. Laura Berkelman compiled the list of birds that were surveyed by twelve birding groups. New species for the count were Painted Bunting, Wilson’s Warbler, and Blue Grosbeak. Uncommon for the count were American Woodcock and Wilson’s Snipe. Several species had unexpected high totals: Tree Swallows, 5,590; Ring-bill Gulls, 1500; Sandhill Cranes, 1,030; American Robins, 1,570. Begun 118 years ago in New York City, Christmas Bird Counts provide important insight into the health of the environment. Since birds are the most visible of our wildlife and the easiest to survey, bird survey data provide an indication of the overall health of the less visible wildlife species. An abundant and diverse avian community can reflect healthy ecological habitats, while declining bird populations can signify disturbing trends in our land development patterns and their detrimental effects to natural areas. Changes in the range of some bird species have implications in assessing results of climate change. National Audubon has identified 314 species of birds in the U.S. that will be affected by climate change. Results from the Melrose CBC combined with data from hundreds of other CBC surveys throughout the country allow ornithologists to assess bird trends on a national and international scale. If you’d like to see the complete list of birds seen, please request by email sjoyceking@comcast.net or lberkelman@windstream.net. On Thursday, December 15, Santa Fe Audubon once again participated in the nation's longest-running citizen science project, fielding 13 teams of birdwatchers across the area to collect data on birds for the 117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. This year's tally showed 107 bird species and 7,493 individual birds. Interesting finds included Northern Flickers, Eastern Screech-Owls, a Great Horned Owl, Northern Flickers, Fish Crows Loggerhead Shrikes, Black-and-White Warblers and an Eastern Wood-pewee. Also noteworthy was a Rusty Blackbird, not only spotted, but also photographed, convincing even the sceptics who monitor the tallies!