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Audubon lecture series kicks off next month

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Shawn Carey will kick off the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon 2018 lecture series with “Tanzanian Tails” which will showcase sights and sounds of his recent visit to Tanzania. PHOTO BY SHAWN CAREY

The popular series, presented by the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, will return to the Community House next month for eight lectures.

Bill Jacobson, a board member of the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, said the lecture series goes back to the 1970s when the society became somewhat active on the island.

“Over the years we have had people from all over the U.S. and some from other parts of South America that happens to be here when we are putting on the lecture,” he said.

The lineup includes many speakers that have been apart of the lecture series in the past, as well as some new presenters that were recommended by word of mouth.

The 2018 Lecture Program series kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 4 with “Tanzanian Tails” presented by Shawn Carey. Jacobson said he has been their opening speaker for the last few years.

This year the wildlife photographer, educator and guide will share the sights and sounds of his recent visit to Tanzania.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, with the program starting at 7:30 p.m. A $5 per person donation is requested for each lecture.

“We try to get people that are really good speakers,” Jacobson said. “Once in a while we get somebody that happens to be here and is well-known in the birding world.”

“Purple Martin Majesty,” will be presented Thursday, Jan. 11 with avian authority Dr. Jerry Jackson, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is also the host of the WGCU’s public radio show, “With the Wild Things.” His presentation will focus on unique example of avian nobility.

Sanibel-Captiva Audubon’s own Bill Heyd will present the Thursday, Jan. 18 lecture “Images to Inspire: Barred Owls & Hummingbirds.” His photographs and research will provide attendees entrance into the intimate activities of these bird species.

Avid birders David and Tammy McQuade will present “Pelagic Birding off the SW Florida Coast” on Thursday, Jan. 25. They will share what they have learned about pelagic birds through their many trips “going where no birders have gone before.”

Veteran tour leader for the Lee County Bird Patrol Charles Ewell will present “Shorebirds: The Arctic Connection to Florida” Thursday, Feb. 1. The presentation will detail the species that breed in Arctic Alaska and Canada before migrating through, or winter in, Florida.

On Thursday, Feb. 8, Rick Bunting will present “2017 Notes From a Roadside Naturalist.” He will showcase his unique perspective and stunning photographs to visually elaborate his favorite location for observing wonders of the natural world.

Dr. Ken Meyer, founder of Avian Research and Conservation Institute will provide “20 Years of Data-Driven Bird Conservation” on Thursday, Feb. 15. This presentation will showcase the results and stories generated by 20 years of remote tracking research of Florida’s imperiled bird species, as well as their response to the 2017 hurricane season.

“He’s a friend of ours,” Jacobson said, due to his work with the reddish egrets at “Ding” Darling and the mangrove cuckoo.

The last lecture will feature Charles LeBuff on Thursday, Feb. 22 for “The American Crocodile Comeback & The San-Cap Connection.” Creator of Caretta Research and former career biological technician at “Ding” Darling, LeBuff will share information about the crocodile and its local relationship.

“Charles has given five, or six different talks since I have been here,” he said.

Jacobson said the lectures attracts on average about 180 people.

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society, he explained is unique because they meet for four months out of the year. In addition to the lecture series, the society holds the annual Christmas Bird Count in December, as well as the popular bird walks through the winter months.

Jacobson said the society donates money to such organizations as the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.