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San-Cap Audubon Lecture Program schedule set for 2016

By Staff | Dec 30, 2015

Shawn Carey, wildlife photographer, educator, guide and cofounder of Migration Productions will kick off the 2016 Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Lecture Program Thursday, Jan. 7. PHOTO PROVIDED

The popular lecture series, organized by the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, highlighting birds will return to The Community House this January

Bill Jacobson, with Sanibel-Captiva Audubon, said in 1953 the first Lecture Program was held, which was the same year the society formed. Over the years either eight or nine seminars are scheduled depending on how many Thursdays fall in January and February that year.

“The major thrust of lecture series is birds,” Jacobson said, adding that on occasion other topics are covered.

Jacobson said he begins planning the lecture series a year in advance. He tries to incorporate a local speaker from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Founda-tion, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum or the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, all organizations the Audubon Society has supported in years past with grants.

“We try to get people back that have given talks before,” Jacobson said of some well-known birders from around the country.

All of the lectures will be held at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5 a person.

“It’s open to everyone,” he said of the lecture, which attracts an average of 180 people.

Jacobson said the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by the speaker at 7:45 p.m. The lecture typically runs from 45-minutes to an hour with a 10-minute question and answer session concluding the evening.

If the speaker has any books, or literature, it will be set up for sale during that night’s presentation.

“Making a Difference for Birds,” will be given by Shawn Carey, wildlife photographer, educator, guide and cofounder of Migration Productions, Thursday, Jan. 7. In 1988, Carey began watching birds after moving to Cambridge, Mass., two years prior. He has been photographing wildlife for 20 years and teaching wildlife photography for more than 12 years for Massachusetts Audubon.

The presentation will begin with a video showcasing Norman Smith’s Snowy Owl Project, Dr. Stephen Kress Project Puffin and Tom Sayers Kestrel Box Program.

Smith’s project helped protect snowy owls from further declining, as well as increased the safety for the flying public. Kress brought back the Atlantic puffin to the coast of the Untied States. Sayers began the kestrel box installation, which has grown to include a large part of Northeast Connecticut.

The following week, Thursday, Jan. 14, Land Stewardship Coordinator Jason Boeckman will offer the presentation “Bird and Wildlife Viewing at Lee County Conservation 20/20 Preserves.” The program will highlight the unique public nature lands of the 20/20 Program and which locations are great for birders and nature enthusiasts.

“Birds in Southwest Florida – Diversity and Adaptations for Survival,” will be the topic of the Thursday, Jan. 21, lecture with Dr. Jerry Jackson of Florida Gulf Coast University and host of WGCU’s “With the Wild Things” radio show. The presentation will focus on “Gee Whiz,” things the audience may not know about behavior, ecology and interactions allowing local birds to survive in natural and unnatural habitats.

International birder, host and creator of Nikon’s Birding Adventures television show, James Currie will present “When Eagles Roar – Tales of an African Birding Adventurer” Thursday, Jan. 28.

“On Heron Time (I’ve Got the Blues)” will be presented by Rick Bunting Thursday, Feb. 4. He will create a photo essay on the family activities of the great blue heron.

Amy Bennett Williams, a senior writer with the News-Press Media Group in Fort Myers, will offer “Subtropical Field Notes: An Amateur’s Appreciation of SW Florida Birds” Thursday, Feb. 11.

World birder and founder of www.carefreebirding.com Ken Burgener will offer a presentation Thursday, Feb. 18, on “Birds of the Caribbean.”

The final lecture of the season will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, with Bob Lewis called “SUNDA – A Land of Birds, Beasts and Dragons.” Lewis is a well-known California birding teacher, lecturer, birder, photographer and traveler. His presentation will touch upon exotic birds and animals of what was Sunda and is now Indonesia and Malaysia.

For more information, call Jacobson at (239) 395-1878, or visit www.san-capaudubon.org.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.