Great progarm at 6:45 on Tuesday, November 13: Fred Bassett, Founder of Hummingbird Research, Inc., on "Tiny, Mighty Hummingbirds".


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


Programs are presented at the program meetings on the second Tuesday of each month September through April.
Field trips and walking workshops are on scheduled Saturdays.


About field trips
Come early and be ready to LEAVE at the times listed.
Bring water, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, and raingear.
Wear sturdy walking shoes. Binoculars are available on loan.

Fall 2018-Spring 2019, Programs and Activities
Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 6:45 p.m.
Program: “TREES: BEYOND OAKS AND PINES”
Speaker: Erick Smith & Mike Meisenburg

Birds need trees, but what are their favorites? North Florida is a tree’s idea of Eden! Our part of Florida has a huge diversity of trees with amazing stories to tell of resilience and patience, but, most of all, every living thing depends on them. If you have a mystery tree in your yard, bring a small cutting to be identified.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Field Trip: EXPLORE O’LENO STATE PARK
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or 9:15 at O’Leno State Park, 410 SE Oleno Park Rd, High Springs, FL 32643 at the main parking area about a mile from the park entrance. ($5 per car park entrance fee.)
Contact: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com

This park on the Santa Fe River hosts a forest with a large diversity of tree species. Walk along the river trail with Erick Smith and Mike Meisenburg to identify trees and birds. Fall migration will be in full swing. This easy walk is about 1-1/2 miles.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 6:45 p.m.
Program: “TITMICE AS BIRD LANGUAGE TUTORS"
Speaker: Katie Sieving, PhD, UF Department of Ecology and Conservation

Using bird language to “take the pulse of nature” is an artistic science that helped keep our ancestors alive and can enrich our experiences today. Using the pugnacious Tufted Titmouse as a model, Dr. Sieving will discuss the five diagnostic voices of birds, when they occur, how to recognize them and what these cues can tell us.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Field Trip: CLASSIC BIRD WATCHING GUANA-TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE (GTM NERR)
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or at 9:30 at the reserve: GTM NERR,505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082 at the westernmost parking lot (farthest from the entrance).
Contact: Gina Hopen 954-802-0922 or ghendurocat@yahoo.com

This reserve is dynamic with many interconnected habitats from the ocean to forested areas. The landscape hosts a diversity of plants and animals and is on the migratory route for warblers and hawks. Expect 2-3 hours of walking on paths to discover some of the natural wonders of this unusual reserve.
October 2018, specific date to be announced.
Fun Work Day: Annual Etoniah Rosemary Survey, Etoniah Creek State Forest (See previous years.)
Start at Etoniah Creek State Forest Office, 8:30 am
Contact: Joyce King, (353) 475-1999

Found nowhere else, and listed as an endangered species. A census to assess the health of this rare plant population is held each October when the plants are in bloom. Volunteers are invited to participate; training is provided. (Also Halloween candy!) Call Joyce King to volunteer.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018, 6:45 p.m.
Program: “TINY, MIGHTY HUMMINGBIRDS ”
Speaker: Fred Bassett, Founder of Hummingbird Research, Inc.

Discover amazing facts about our beloved Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and what other hummingbird species we might find wintering in Florida. Find out about banding hummingbirds from a federally certified Master Bird Bander and what the current research tells us about these masterful flyers.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Field Trip: ASHTON BIOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool, which is strongly encouraged due to rough road conditions (6 miles on dirt. Must leave at Merose at 8:45 sharp.
Contact: Laura Berkelman 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net.

Tour the preserve with Animal Care Specialist and Habitat Manager Chase Pirtle. The tour starts at 10 AM for about 2 hours; the fee is $10 per person (20 guests maximum). We will start exploring at the enclosure of endangered exotic and native animals. We’ll do some walking and a ride in “Reserve Trolleys” where we will see incredible plant and animal diversity. A picnic area is provided.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
CONSERVATION CELEBRATION,Silent Auction & Chili Supper
Program: “NORTH FLORIDA WILDLIFE CORRIDORS: Conservation of the Ocala to Osceola Corridor (O2O)”
Conservation organizations from our area will join us for this celebration. Live music and a silent auction that features local art, nature-related crafts and great Christmas gifts. (Pictures of past events)

Speaker: Susan Carr, PhD, Conservation Coordinator, North Florida Land Trust

Learn how a public-private partnership is working to protect natural resources, wild lands and military readiness. Corridors can expand conservation lands and improve habitat for the Florida Black Bear and imperiled species like the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Indigo Snake and the Gopher Tortoise.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Melrose Circle, 119th Christmas Bird Count (Previous years)

Contact: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com

The world’s oldest citizen-science project relies on volunteers to collect data that contribute to bird conservation, indicate the movement, declines & advances in bird populations & indicate the possible results of climate change. No need to be an expert birder! Each team will have experienced leaders who can help newcomers. If you can count, you can participate!
Call Joyce at (352) 475-1999 for information or to participate.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: "RATTLESNAKES: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY”
Speakers: Tony Daly-Crews, Director of The Eastern Diamondback Conservancy, Endangered Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is in steep decline. Learn about threats facing snakes and how The Rattlesnake Conservancy (TRC) works toward educating the public about the relevance of snakes in the natural world. TRC works to transform the way people think about rattlesnakes and to stop the indiscriminate killing at rattlesnake roundups.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Field trip: SEE THE SILVER RIVER BY GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
Meet at 9:00 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 10:30 just inside the main entrance at the Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs, FL 33470.
Contact: Anne Pierce 352-231-5032 or apredwater@aol.com

Explore the scenic Silver River and Silver Springs in a 26-passenger glass bottom boat during a 90 minute excursion. Your boat captain will point out wildlife along the shores and in the crystalclear water and talk about the rich history of this beautiful waterway.
Pre-payment (payable to Santa Fe Audubon Society ) Adults $25, Seniors (55 & older) $20. Silver Springs State Park entry fee: $2 per person.
Saturday, January 26, 2019.
Event: Yesterday’s Festival, 9 am to 4 pm, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Experience the Florida of days gone by! Re-enactors, Historic Demonstrations, Cast Iron Cooking, Live Music, Antique Cars, Steam Engines and Tractors, Park Ranger Tram Tours and so much more. Free with park admission. Call (352) 473-4701 for more information.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: “ECOLOGY OF BOBCATS IN FLORIDA ”
Speakers: Elina Garrison and Brian Scheick, Wildlife Research Biologists, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Although Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are widely distributed throughout Florida, we rarely see them, due to their secretive nature. This informational program will include habitat preferences, prey species and behavior of Bobcats.
Friday-Monday, February 15-18, 2019
The Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
We invite you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 15-18, 2019. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!

Log on to http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for complete information and how to get started.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Field trip: SWEETWATER WETLANDS PARK
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or 8:30 at Sweetwater Wetlands Park 325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32608.
Leader: Contact: Laura Berkelman 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net.

This is a great outing for beginners! Plan on 2-3 hours of walking on gravel paths at this man-made wetland. Bird diversity is great, and the birds are accustomed to humans, so they aren’t as skittish as in more natural habitats. Most visitors are pleasantly surprised at the number of avian species, as well as the healthy gators.
Fee: $5 per car.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
10th Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner, 6:00 p.m.
Arrive with dish at 6:00 p.m.
Dinner at 6:20 p.m.
Meeting at 6:50 p.m.
After the potluck dinner we’ll have our annual meeting, name the Conservationist of the Year and hold our 2nd Annual Photography Show.
To contribute photographs, contact Laura Berkelman by March 1 at (352) 475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net
Please bring a dish to share that serves about 8 people.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Field trip: SPRING WILDFLOWERS
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool.
Contact: Anne Pierce 352-231-5032 or apredwater@aol.com

Mike Drummond, Alachua County Environmental Protection Dept, will identiy a variety of colorful wildflowers in bloom in the region. Closer to the field trip date we will select a location and focus on nectaring plants favored by birds, bees and butterflies.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 6:45 p.m.
Program: “BIRDS AT THE BEACH ”
Speaker: Jean Rolke, Audubon Stewardship Coordinator, FL Shorebird Alliance

Shorebirds live in hazardous places and are vulnerable to habitat damage by storms, recreational beach-goers and dynamic shifts of the beach itself. Beach-nesting birds face significant challenges raising their young. The St. Johns Shorebird Partnership organizes bird stewards to protect nests and chicks on northeast Florida beaches.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Field trip: BIRDING ON THE BEACH
Meet at 7:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 9:30 at Anastasia Island State Park, 300 Anastasia Park Rd., St. Augustine, FL. (Location in Anastasia Island State Park TBA).
Contact: Joyce King at (352) 475-1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com.

Jean Rolke, FL Shorebird Alliance, will take us to some beach-nesting colonies along the St. Augustine coast where we should find Least Terns, Wilson’s Plovers, and Black Skimmers nesting.
Park entry fee: $8 per vehicle.