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BROWN PELICAN 941-364-9212


Volume 34, Number 7 April/May 2008

State of the Society We gave presentations to area groups and schools; guided
out of town birders; and continued monitoring our beaches
to help protect shorebirds—all yielding dollars to
It’s time again in the year to recap where SAS is and where strengthen SAS.
it is going.
We did many things that did not yield any dollars but were
At this point—mid-year—we can recount some exciting vitally important. Such as helping high schoolers on the
accomplishments. We have conducted 4 sets of birding Carefree Learner in Roberts Bay, cleaning up Palmer
classes (for SAS, USF and Pieran Spring Academy) Boulevard, being your voice on conservation issues,
introducing more than 80 beginners to the joy of birding. interacting with local officials and environmental groups,
We introduced more than 160 folks to the Celery Fields on watering those mulberry trees and helping Sarasota County
the “second Saturday” walks. We led more than 15 day trips to better manage our wildlife environment.
with 300+ members and non-members, including a fab day
of birding to Station 5 in Clewiston. And we took 14 folks Our monthly programs, newsletter, website and electronic
on a 5-day puffin trip to Maine and 28 on a 2-nighter to bird alerts all served to educate you—the membership. And
Winter Park. We’ve been busy. we were glad to do it.
As part of the restoration project in North Lido Beach Finances. Some of you wonder why we started an annual
Park, we planted 7 mulberry trees, funded from our raffles. appeal 3 years ago, thinking that “we have enough—we
Thanks to all who bought a ticket at a monthly meeting. We don’t need more.” It’s true that we received an unexpected
hope to see fruitful results within a few years. bequest of over $100,000 in 1999. The board at that time
voted to set up an endowment fund—with restrictions on
Another project we repeated this year, with the help of using the money. The most we can take each year is limited
Sarasota Bay Buddies and SAS volunteers, was to help rid (between $5,000 and $7,000), so “we don’t have enough”
Pinecraft Park of exotic air potatoes. On three other for annual operating costs without fundraising programs
occasions we supervised groups from Brookside Middle and events. The board works very hard, struggling to come
School, Girls, Inc. and First Baptist Church of Sarasota as up with enough money to cover costs. We’ve managed to
they too helped in Pinecraft. Again, out of monthly raffles, do it so far. Here are some salient facts:
we contributed 50% of the cost of the park sign, complete
with our logo. Check it out. 1) In spite of the fact that we carry and service 1,000
members, we only received $1,360 from National Audubon


Our Meeting Place-Fellowship Hall, First Congregational Church, 1031 South Euclid, Sarasota. Directions: US 41 to Bahia
Vista. If coming from the south, turn right on Bahia Vista:if coming from the north, turn left. Take Bahia Vista to Euclid,
then north on Euclid to the church.
November 11, 2007 Volume VII

in 2008. Put another way, NAS gets between $25,000 and pledged $5,000 for Save Our Seabirds. We spent $3,450 last
$35,000 on our behalf and gave us $1,360 of it! Although year on scholarships and expect to spend a similar amount
NAS has never been generous, we can compare current this year. And, we only had to use $182.36 of these funds to
figures to $3,469 in 1992 and $3,113 in 1997, so we are cover a small deficit for year ended 5/06. For year ended
looking at a 57%-62% drop! In order to continue services 5/07 we had a profit of $2,483 so we divided it up between
to our members, we came up with a local membership fee the Education and Celery Fields funds.
of a modest $20 a year. (Many other chapters do the same.)
From the 200 folks who are kind enough to join at that Expenditures from the annual appeals are investments in
level, we get about $4,000 a year. I encourage all of you to the environment and in our future. For those of you who
join both SAS and NAS. That way you are supporting both have donated funds, many, many thanks. If you have not
local and national initiatives while supporting our basic sent in a donation, please take the time to do so now. We
programs. have received donations ranging from $5 to $3,000—any
amount is welcome.
2) We were fortunate last year and this to have contracted
with the County to monitor Turtle Beach during its Signing up for one of our trips, forking over $2 for a day
renourishment phase. That has yielded about $5,000 in trip, buying a raffle ticket for $1, or buying a set of note
profit over the 2 years, but that project is now ending. cards (so generously produced and donated by one of our
board members), helps us do the things that we believe in:
3) Other ways of coming up with funds to cover operating education, conservation and advocacy. With your help, SAS
costs are day, overnight and overseas trips, sales of Hot will grow and continue to be a highly-effective
Spots, birding classes, raffles and sale items at our monthly environmental organization within our community.
meetings—that’s it.
The board of SAS is extremely proud of its
The Donation Appeal was launched 3 years ago NOT accomplishments over this past year. With your
FOR OPERATING EXPENSES BUT FOR OUR encouragement and support we can keep on keeping on!
FUTURE PLANS. As you know, we will probably be
taking leaseship of an acre at the Celery Fields in order to Jeanne Dubi, March 2008
have a place to call home. First of all, we will be planting a
butterfly garden, as well as trees and bushes to attract birds.
If we do nothing more with the land, we will still have to ~CELERY FIELDS CLEAN UP~
provide some sort of irrigation system, toilets and also be
able to maintain the site in good order. We are thinking of a
modest building in the future: a place where we can provide Celery Fields Clean Up, March 18 Thanks to the
more educational programs for kids and a starting point for following for helping at the Celery Fields Clean Up. We got
walks in the Celery Fields. The building will be paid in large about 140lbs of garbage, a discarded tire, a 4-feet length of
part by grants, in-kind services and corporate donations. board and 2 metal rods: Bob and Mary Zimmer, Karen
Even if we get the building entirely funded, it will take Jensen, Ken Pearlman, Mark Leggett, Wanda Strickland,
money to maintain. Just think of your own home: Naish McHugh, Kathy Stokes, Penney Rist, John Hegener,
electricity, telephone, water, repairs, etc. . . . you get the idea. Barb LeSueur, Joanna Bear and Jeanne Dubi. Because we
had over 12 folks (actually we had 13) we were able to hit
Many of you have designated your donations for specific the entire 2-mile length. It looks great.
purposes: Celery Fields, Education, Endowment. Many
others have indicated that the funds can be used for general On another note: The move to increase the speed through
use. As of this date, over the three appeals, you have the Celery Fields from 40 to 45 mph was rejected by the
donated over $41,000—incredible! As a result, we have Traffic Advisory Council. Their recommendation goes to
accumulated over $19,000 for the Celery Fields and $8,900 the Board of County Commissioners for final approval, so
for Education. We gave Crowley $5,000 last year, and let’s hope it sticks.
Next Celery Fields Clean Up Day – Tuesday, April 22. highlight of the day was the 2 pairs of nesting Red
Lend a hand at helping to keep Palmer Blvd free of trash. Shouldered Hawks.
Meet at the gazebo (Palmer & Raymond) at 8a.m. It just Ken Pearlman, Trip Leader
takes an hour or so with a good crew.
Celery Fields, March 8 - 12 hardy souls turned out in
~APRIL/MAY CALENDAR~ almost gale force winds, which made it feel a lot colder than
60 degrees. I was glad of my Canadian fur-lined
Tuesday, April 8 Emerson Point This wonderful park has windbreaker. Just before we started, we were treated to the
woodlands, shoreline, and mangroves. Depart McDonald’s spectacle of a Peregrine Falcon, seemingly enjoying itself,
at 7:30 a.m. Optional lunch at Crab Trap II restaurant. by making passes at various Turkey Vultures that were
Leaders: John Ginaven, 798-9829, and Stuart Hills, battling the winds. We then headed to the rail ponds and
922-5261. were treated to looks of a Virginia Rail. ! As we looked up
to the skys we saw an immature Bald Eagle, flying low
Saturday, April 12 Celery Fields Explore birdlife with a which put up hundreds of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.
November 11, 2007 Volume VII
different leader on the second Saturday of each month. A total of 4 immatures and 1 adult Bald Eagle mastered
Meet at the gazebo (Palmer & Raymond) at 8 a.m. the winds with ease. We ended the day with 45 species.
Coordinator: Mark Leggett, 925-7220 Naish McHugh, Trip Leader

Winter Park, March 12th thru the 14th! ! ! ! Perfect

Monday April 14. Sarasota Audubon Society
monthly meeting at 7 p.m. SARASOTA weather was in store for 28 birders heading for the small
BUTTERFLIES - Beverly Bowen and Stu Hills town of Winter Park, north of Orlando.! ! Thursday a.m. it
of the Sarasota Butterfly Club will show us was Carolyn Primus who spotted our outstanding female
slides of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Yellow-headed Blackbird in a park across from the hotel.!!
General Elections- officers are elected for the This proved to be a life bird for many on the trip.! Other
coming year. species listed include one Swallow-tailed Kite, Orange-
Monday May 12. - NESTING SHOREBIRDS crowned Warbler, Summer Tanager, Tufted Titmouse, and
WITH TED MASE - Great photos and a pair of "show off" Pileated Woodpeckers. ! Our 70th
information about the endangered and spotting was a American White Pelican seen from the bus
on our way home.
Special tours included the Morse Museum to see an
extensive collection of Tiffany glass, then off to the
Tuesday, April 15 FT Desoto leader Edith Miller Audubon Birds of Prey center where we met the well
(364-3637) will help us find migrants at this wonderful known eagles "Paige" and "Trouble".! Watch for them in
birding spot. Leave the first rest area just after the and around the state where they are used for teaching.! You
tollbooths on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (I-275) at 8 a.m. can visit the Eagle camera (cam) at
BRING LUNCH to watch nestlings.
Day three took us to the beautiful Leu Gardens.! Here we
Sunday, April 20 Earth Day at Oscar Scherer This found acres of trees, plants and flowers!!with lots of places
annual event draws huge crowds. Check out plants and to rest and take in the view.! Brown thrashers seemed to be
critters. Fun for kids. Visit us at the SAS booth. calling in surround sound.
Thanks to Jeanne and Karen for their expert planning.!
Monday, April 28 SRQ Triple Loop Join Rick Hope to see you on another trip.
Greenspun and Jeanne Dubi in search of migrants at our !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! Pat Delp, Tour Participant
local hot spots. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of
Phillippi Estate Park, west side of U.S. 41 at Constitution Potter Park and Stoneybrook Trail, March 20 - Potter
Blvd. Park behind the YMCA off Central Sarasota Parkway has
g r e a t paved trails
Saturday, May 3 Butterfly Walk Join butterfly enthusiasts w i t h many pine
Stu Hills and Jeanne Dubi on a walk to locate and ID local trees, Saw Palmettos
butterflies. Location to be determined. Meet at a n d Cabbage
McDonald’s (Bee Ridge/Cattlemen) at 10 a.m. contact: Palms. We ventured
Jeanne Dubi, 355-1705 off the trail into the
woods where we
k n e w there was a
~TRIP REPORTS~ grove of dead trees.
We were hoping to
Red Bug Slough, March 4 Over 20 birders met at the find a Pileated
slough today for a fun morning of birding and hiking. The Woodpecker nest. We found instead Red-
bellied Woodpeckers and 1 Red-shouldered Hawk. We then You are also able to buy them at most post offices, K-Marts,
went over to Stoneybrook Nature Trail, walked the trail and Wal*Marts, and sporting goods stores around the country.
boardwalk, where we spotted a Green Heron preening and a To find out the location selling the stamp nearest to you, call
Sandhill Crane on her nest. the Federal Duck Stamp Office at 888-534-0400, or visit
Kathryn Young, Trip Leader (Note - they also are offering e-
stamps this year.)


This year our Audubon chapter gave $206 to Operation

Migration, the Whooping Crane organization that leads the PINECRAFT FESTIVAL
Cranes from Wisconsin to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife
Refuge here in Florida. They travel a 1,250 mile journey and The 3rd Annual Pinecraft Festival was a huge success, with
you can track their progress each year by going to the more than 80 people lending a hand. The largest group was . from Sarasota Bay Buddies, an organization based in
Our Audubon also gave $200.00 to Friends of Oscar Scherer Manatee County. In addition to exotic plants we destroyed
Park. This wonderful park is one of the best places to see more than 450 lbs of potatoes fewer than in previous years,
Florida Scrub Jays, a threatened species found only in so that’s a good sign. We also gave out a dozen or so prizes
Florida. to kids in different age groups. Thanks to the following for
donating time and prizes: Carolyn Primus, Susie Bowie, Sara
MEMBERSHIP ANNOUNCMENT King, Susan Stam, Edith Miller, Penney Rist, Veronica
Tarnowski, Ken Pearlman, Sheila & Naish McHugh, Ruth
Please check the expiration date on your address label. If Ellen Peipert, Bobbie Goodin, Stu Hills, Jean & Jim
the date has expired, this will be the last Brown Pelican Edmundson, Karen Jensen, Carole Breedlove, Wild Bird
Newsletter you will receive. If you feel the date is incorrect Center, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Jeanne Dubi.
or has expired - please email or call me Many thanks to Barbara Singer and Mike Dubi for
at 355-4073 and we will address it. Thanks, organizing the event and judging the potatoes.
Lynn Jakubowicz, Membership Chair


Since 1934, revenue from stamp sales has totaled over $700
million and has secured almost 6 million acres of high
priority habitat. If you appreciate habitat protection, thank
those who have purchased Duck Stamps. It's very important
that the
e v e r
increasing Our very own Sarah King, Edith Miller
numbers and Barbara Singer.
o f
u s e r s
who are !Audubon of Florida holds regional conservation committee
n o t meetings once a quarter. We are in the Gulf Coast zone. Julie
hunters, step up to the plate and also purchase stamps. Byrne was a regular representative at these meetings and I
Bonus - a $15 Duck Stamp gives you free entry to all have been to several of them. The Conservation Chair from
National Wildlife Refuges. Proudly display the stamp YOU the chapters usually attends, indeed it is designed to address
purchase to demonstrate you are doing your part for wetland conservation issues in our sector (roughly SWFMD
and grassland habitat, and bird conservation. boundaries). When Julie was a member of the AoF board we
had strong links to the state organization. I would hate for us
To order write to:: to be out of the loop on some of the critical things for
Federal Duck Stamp Office which they represent all Audubons in the state.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service If anyone is interested, I will send details of times and
1849 C St., NW, Suite 2058 locations. I know it is an almost all-day affair and is being
Washington, D.C. 20204. held north of Tampa this time.
passed away in early March. He attended most meetings and AMENDMENT TO PROTECT OUR RURAL
was a regular on field trips. Condolences to his family. ENVIRONMENT

You may have signed one of the 12,500 SAS-endorsed

MEMBER PROFILE: Jean & Jim petitions that were necessary to get a vote on an amendment
Edmundson to the Sarasota County Charter to require a voter referendum
before extending the Urban Services Boundary (USB) into
Jean and Jim Edmundson have been members of SAS since our rural and environmentally sensitive eastern lands. An
1986. Throughout the years, they’ve been extremely active, extended USB would mean more housing east of I-75, with
assuming many duties when called upon. Jean started as the more schools, fire stations, libraries, etc., not to mention
birder; Jim got into photography as a way of enjoying the destroying more of the natural environment of eastern
field trips. Now they are both avid members and regulars at Sarasota County. By the time you read this article, the County
monthly meetings. They formed life-long friendships with Commission hopefully will have endorsed and placed on a
other members and still keep in touch with those who have ballot for May 6 a revised “consensus” amendment that will
moved away or no longer come to meetings. Here are some more effectively protect that land from urban sprawl than
of the things they have done to help SAS grow. would the original amendment.

Jean: Board member, historian, hospitality, greeter, “general This revised amendment provides that there must be a
factotum” (stuffing envelopes, bundling and mailing The unanimous vote by the County Commission to extend the
Brown Pelican), membership chair then membership USB and would include the USB for the first time in the
backup when SAS went “electronic”, nominating Charter (thereby requiring a majority vote by citizens to
committee, Roberts Bay monitor. Whew! In addition, Jean remove it). The revision would also require a unanimous
went on almost every day and overnight trip, acting as back County Commission vote to establish new overlay districts
up leader when necessary. Currently, Jean manages the outside the USB or expand existing ones. (Overlay districts
monthly pre-meeting dinner at Bennigan’s, where board and could increase allowable density or intensity of development.)
SAS members can meet the evening’s speaker and catch up These two provisions requiring unanimous votes close
on bird business. loopholes that could have rendered the original amendment
Jim: Led two or three day trips per year for many years; almost meaningless if a County Commission wanted to evade
presented three slide show programs at monthly meetings it.
of their worldwide travels; took care of the slide projector
—setting up and taking down at each meeting; and Business and development organizations had threatened to
put several hundred thousand dollars into defeating the
cataloged and maintained our extensive slide collection,
original amendment. Why then did they agree to the new
making it easier for others to find just the right slide. “consensus”? Recent elections show they were likely to lose
anyway. A citizen vote to expand the USB would add delay
Between them they have been on several overseas trips with and uncertainty to their plans while a good proposal might
SAS or with SAS friends: Africa, Trinidad, Venezuela. get unanimous County Commission approval. Avoiding an
They’ve also been regulars on many SAS overnight trips expensive and bitter campaign would also help their image
around Florida, with Jim always ready with the ice and and their future prospects in the community. Finally, Citizens
drinks. for Sensible Growth (which sponsored this and two earlier
Charter amendments) agreed, as an organization, not to seek
Jim and Jean have been loyal supporters of SAS with cash other land use amendments for the next six years if the
donations, prize donations, cookie donations, and of course “consensus” amendment passes. (Hey, gathering petitions is
their own valuable time donations. Sarasota Audubon is hard work.)
a better organization because of them.
This “consensus” amendment could both help preserve our
birds and other wildlife while at the same time herald a new
spirit of cooperation between local environmentalists and
developers. I hope you will consider casting your ballot for
this USB amendment—at early voting, by absentee ballot, or
at the polls on May 6.

Wade Matthews
Conservation Chair

Photo of a Black Skimmer Resting on Siesta Beach

SHOREBIRD NESTING SEASON is this time of year! Birds have been laying their eggs right on the beach for hundreds
of years. Their available nesting habitat is shrinking rapidly. If you see birds attackng your kite or maybe you as you walk
along the beach, you are probably too close to a nesting area. Adult birds will try to protect their nests. Once they fly off
their nest, eggs and chicks are vulnerable to sun and predators. Moving just a bit further away from nesting areas, protects the
birds and provides continued enjoyment for all! Some of our area beaches will put up ropes to indicate an area of the beach
to stay away from because the birds have chosen this area to nest in. You may be able to see all the birds behind these ropes
sitting on nests. Last year they had roped off the north end of Longboat Key for the Black Skimmers and Least Terns.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers nest mostly in colonies, sometimes in very large ones. Within colonies, members of these species
are highly territorial, even though a territory may be only a few square feet of beach.

Nesting Snowy Plovers can also be seen on Siesta Key Beach at this time.

Credit for Article to Adventure Florida Magazine -- Photo by Rick Greenspun


Photo credits -- Snowy Plover (page 2), Great Egret (page 3) and Black Skimmer (page 6) were
taken by Rick Greenspun. Birds in distress (page 7) from

We have all seen plastic bags stuck in trees, shrubs, fences, and waterways. These bags are not only eyesores but major
contributors to climate change. Large amounts of carbon dioxide are released during the manufacture, transportation, and
disposal of plastic bags. Introduced 25 years ago, they are now being used at over 500 billion per year world wide and an
estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many bags. The toxic chemical ingredients needed to make
plastic produces pollution during the manufacturing process. Plastics comprise about 60 percent of the trash found on
beaches and about 90 percent of debris found floating in the water. Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, as
they degrade they end up as tiny toxic bits in our water and soil, which eventually ends up in our food chain and our drinking
water. Sea turtles, whales and birds die every year from eating or becoming entangled in discarded plastic bags. They choke
or block the intestines leading to an agonizing death. On land, cows, goats and other animals suffer a similar fate when they
accidentally ingest plastic bags while foraging for food.
Recycling bags (paper and plastic) requires energy for the collection, hauling and processing. an estimated 8 billion pounds of
plastic bags, wraps and sacks enter the waste stream every year in the US alone, putting an unnecessary burden on our
diminishing landfill space and causing air pollution if incinerated. How can we help to reduce this plastic bag footprint?
The answer is to stop using plastic bags and start using reusable bags -bring your own cloth bags everywhere you shop (not
just the grocery store). Making the change is not easy. When I commited to using cloth bags I would get into the grocery
store only to remember my cloth bags were still in the car at check out time. I would then make myself buy one new bag
each time I forgot my bags. After a few of these episodes I had more than enough reusable bags for all my shopping needs
and it helped me to remember them when doing my shopping the next time. I have read about other ways people use to
remember their bags, voiding purchases if they forget their bags, stuffing only their pockets of what they can carry, running
out to the car to get their bags when the cashier says “paper or plastic?”
Once you start using cloth bags you will find some pleasant surprises, such as they hold more and they are easier to carry.
Cloth bags are being offered free from the chamber of commerce on Siesta Key and for a nominal fee at most grocery stores.
Look for them soon from Sarasota Audubon Society.

Kathryn Young, Editor

The following websites were used to write this article. pollution/trash-vortex (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration)

Published Monthly October through May by:

P.O. BOX 15423
SARASOTA, FL 34277-1423

NEW MEMBERS For Membership Information email,

Jerome Dimercurio Margaret Lewis
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