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Audubon to present ‘Chasing Rare Birds in the Lower 48’

By Staff | Jan 24, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Tamara and David McQuade

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society will host avid expert birders Tamara and David McQuade for a presentation, “Chasing Rare Birds in the Lower 48,” on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Not all rare birds are the same. Some rare birds literally only hang around in one location for a few hours before disappearing, not to be seen again. Others can be extremely predictable making it fairly easy to plan and prepare for finding them. The McQuades will share their thoughts and experiences on which rare birds are the easiest birds to chase and find. They will discuss the probability of finding them, as well as when and where to look, and what special circumstances to be aware of. They also will share maps and Tammy McQuade’s photos of each target bird discussed.

The McQuades have always had a love of the outdoors and birds, but it changed in 2012 when they saw the movie “The Big Year.” Counting birds and targeting species had an appeal, which started with a weekend in 2013 and has not stopped since. They are the All Time eBird record holders with 302 and 299 bird species seen in Lee County, and are also the co-holders of the Lee County Big Day record of 134 species. They have been able to combine their business travel with birding, which allowed them to rack up 768 species in the lower 48 in just a couple years.

The McQuades are graduates of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Macaulay Library Sound Recording Workshop and are the administrators for the SW Florida Bird Alert Facebook group. They are also the guides for the Cape Coral Burrowing Owl Festival and contributors to the Lee County Bird Patrol.

This is the fourth of eight Sanibel-Captiva Audubon lecture to be held this season. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and parking is available at The Community House, as well as at BIG ARTS Strauss Theater.

TAMARA AND DAVID MCQUADE Rufous-capped warbler

A $10 donation per attendee is appreciated, with the proceeds after costs being used to promote conservation on Sanibel and in Florida.

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

TAMARA AND DAVID MCQUADE Five-striped sparrow