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‘Life of the Ospreys of Pelican Island’ next subject of Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lecture tonight

By Staff | Feb 12, 2009

Bob Montanaro, the office manager for the Pelican Island Audubon Society in Vero Beach, Fla., will be the speaker at the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lecture on Thursday, Feb. 12 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Bob’s presentation “Ospreys of Pelican Island: An Exploration into the Daily Life of the Fish Hawk” will use still photography and digital video set to music to celebrate the osprey nesting experience by following two pairs of ospreys nesting on the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, from mating to fledging the young.

Montanaro handles all aspects of the day-to-day running of the Pelican Island Audubon chapter. He is also a volunteer at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the first national wildlife refuge, which opened on March 14, 1904.

In addition to being, respectively, the 2004 and 2006 Volunteer of the Year at Pelican Island, he also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Pelican Island Preservation Society and the Pelican Island Wildlife Festival.

Bob says he thinks ospreys are “more majestic” than bald eagles, but he may be biased because he spent more than 100 days in each year in both 2006 and 2007 closely tracking a pair of osprey at Pelican Island. He added that he thought ospreys have an individual emotional presence. Osprey are diurnal, fish eating birds of prey. They tolerate a wide variety of nesting habitats but must live near a body of water providing adequate food. They mate for life and usually live for 20 to 25 years.

Montanaro spends most of his free time pursuing his interest in ospreys in an attempt to document through still and video photography the activities of the ospreys residing at Pelican Island. He received a BA in European and Asian History from the University of Central Florida and an MA in U.S. history from Florida State University. He also attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

As always, all are welcome to attend this lecture, the sixth of 2009’s series of eight lectures held Thursday nights at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Parking is available at the Community House and across the street in the lot of The Schoolhouse Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and a $5 donation is greatly appreciated.

For additional information, contact the Program Chair, Elaine Jacobson, at 395-1878 or go to San-Cap Audubon’s Web site at www.sancapaudubon.org.