Today at the Landings: 48 °F

Turn to Nature for Nurturing 

Courtesy of Skidaway Audubon

Many studies have shown that being out in nature reduces stress, depression, anger, fear, blood pressure, and muscle tension. During this stressful time, check out the many ways Skidaway Audubon can help you get back to nature.  

Bird Cam - A pair of Osprey claimed the new nest that was erected this winter with the help of many volunteers and generous sponsors. But just like new homeowners on House Hunters, they had to put their own stamp on it, adding loads and loads of nesting material. Mrs. O deemed it acceptable and has laid three brown and white speckled eggs. Check out the family at landingsbirdcam.com

Sparrow Field - Volunteers at the pollinator berm at Sparrow Field are getting exercise by planting, weeding, and spreading pine straw over tender shoots, while practicing social distancing! Twenty passion vines and 20 milkweed plants were installed in hopes of attracting many butterflies and other pollinators. Additional volunteers are needed at the garden, located off Bartram Road. If you can lend a hand, please email friendsofskidawayaudubon@gmail.com

Sleepy Turtles - Diamondback Terrapins usually hatch in the fall. But if a hatchling does not emerge when cooler weather sets in, it may opt to overwinter in the sand and emerge in the spring. That’s exactly what happened in Skidaway Audubon’s hatchery, where two baby terrapins were found in the hatchery sand in March. They were released into the marsh. This brings Skidaway Audubon 2019 season’s release total to 2,227 hatchlings. 

Friends of Skidaway Audubon - Doing more shopping on Amazon these days? Then purchase with a purpose! Support Skidaway Audubon through AmazonSmile, a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to a charity of your choice. Just go to skidawayaudubon.org and click on the AmazonSmile link at the bottom of the page. Then do your Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com. The donations are made at no extra cost to you. 

Bird Trail Update - On February 29, a nesting season kickoff meeting was held. During the meeting, six volunteers were honored with special birdhouse plaques to thank them for serving as bird trail volunteers for 15 years or more. The volunteers chose their favorite box to place their plaque. Honored for their outstanding dedication were Betsy Bratz, Pat Wolters, Matt and Dot Ryan, and Rhea Myers and her sister, Aletha Dunlavy. 

Also, during the kickoff meeting, nest monitors were assigned trails and received a handbook and a blue-and-white Skidaway Audubon Volunteer flag to display on their golf cart or bike while checking on their bird nests. Early reports indicate some nuthatches nested, laid eggs, and are hatching already. The chickadees and bluebirds are starting to build nests and lay eggs as well. There also are reports showing some nest box modifications have been successful. Metal plates were installed in some boxes to narrow the entrance so only small songbirds can use them. Islands High School students conducted research projects using data Skidaway Audubon volunteers gathered last season while monitoring the birdhouses along the birdbox trail. They presented their findings on posters. A few of the students plan to continue researching the birds and are interested in internship opportunities. 

Upcoming Event: 

The 2020 Skidaway Audubon Golf Tournament FUNdraiser, originally set for May 11, is postponed due to the coronavirus precautions. It is hoped that a new date can be announced later this year. 

For more information about these and other Skidaway Audubon programs, visit skidawayaudubon.org

Bird Devotee Pat Wolters, one of six bird trail volunteers honored with a birdhouse plaque for 15 or more years of service as a bird trail volunteer.  
Photo credit: Sarah Lucas