PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2015/2016            

Hello Everyone!
Thank you for your continuing support of your local Audubon chapter – it has been another exciting year!  It’s time again to let you know the things we are doing and planning for the year.  Included in this mailing you will find the Activity Calendar for this year.  Walks are about to resume at Alligator Lake so please come and join us on the 1st Saturday of each month starting in September.  We had a great year last year with more people attending the Alli-walks and learning about the wonderful birds that pass through and/or stay here each year.

Our Alligator Lake Spring Festival keeps getting bigger and better each year with higher attendance. Thank you to all members who helped.  If you haven’t volunteered at the Alligator Lake Spring Festival before, you might want to consider it this year; it is always lots of fun. You don’t have to be there all day, just lending a hand for 2 or 3 hours helps a lot. Actually it is much better if we share the day, that way you can visit the many vendors and community agencies or participate in a Walking Workshop, that help make the festival so special. If you aren’t able to help, make sure to stop by and check it out.   The Festival will be on April 9th in 2016 so mark your calendar.

New for this year, we now have a Facebook page.  We are listed as Four Rivers Audubon Society, please make sure to check it out, like us, and share it with your friends.  There will be postings of the birds we see at the Alli-walks and any other wonderful or special last minute events, reminders and updates or other things going on.

Some of our members have participated in the Breeding Bird Atlas this year.  We have one more year to add to this special project.  The Breeding Bird Atlas helps to identify where birds are breeding and whether any changes are occurring over time.  As you all know, these citizen science projects have been instrumental in helping figure out how climate change is affecting birds, and other species.  The focus is on locating specific birds during a certain time of year, (mainly spring and summer) with nesting material, or a nest, or birds with young’uns.  If you would like to participate, or learn more details, contact Jacqui Sulek at jsulek@audubon.org.
Many Four Rivers members look forward to the Christmas Bird Count, always an exciting day.  It is a time when you try to count as many birds and species as possible.  We always go in groups and/or pairs with experienced birders and some not so experienced.  We have people to identify the birds, and those who just point out birds to those experienced birders, and people who tally up the count while others are busy searching for birds.  This is where you can get some great experience hearing, seeing and identifying birds.   Please consider participating, we would love to have your help, and you’ll have fun, too.  The date this year is Saturday, January 2; it is on our Activity Calendar and will be posted on Facebook.  Watch for an email asking for volunteers.

Our plan is to offer some educational programs this coming year.  If you have a topic that interests you or that you would like to know more about, please contact Valerie Thomas at v.thomas57@gmail.com.  Stay tuned for more information!

Hope to see you soon.  Happy Birding!

Valerie Thomas and Betsy Martin, Co-Presidents
Four Rivers Audubon Society



 How Can I Become Involved With Four Rivers Audubon?

· Join a fun bird walk, an “Alli-Walk”, the first Saturday morning of each month, September through May.  Make new friends, learn new birding ID skills, and enjoy nature.

· Participate in a Christmas Bird Count or the Great Backyard Bird Count - become a Citizen Scientist.  See Audubon.org or contact Valerie Thomas v.thomas57@gmail.com for details.

· Volunteer to help our chapter organize and conduct our signature event, the Alligator Lake Spring Festival.  If you can’t volunteer, please come out and enjoy a fun, nature-based and educational day in Lake City on April 12, 2014.

· Work with other chapter members to enhance Florida’s Special Places, like Alligator Lake or Ichetucknee Springs State Park.  Watch for calls for volunteers.

· Save your Audubon magazines and other nature related publications to donate to others who might enjoy them.

· Create a wildlife habitat and certify your yard as bird and wildlife friendly.  Contact Lauri Shubert at gatewaywho@gmail.com to learn more.