Come to this class if you want to review the basics of nature photography, improve your picture taking and composition, and capture pictures you've been missing. Depending on attendance and time, Roger and Joel will review your photographs. You are encouraged to bring a few (1-3) pictures on a USB flash drive for review and positive feedback.
When it comes to photography equipment begin with the end in mind. What is your intention when you push that shutter button? Are you simply documenting the moment for your personal records or do you plan on sharing the photo on social media or emailing it to a friend. Or printing the picture for scrape booking or to hang on the wall at home. Or creating a print to be sold at a gallery. So by beginning with your intent in mind and your equipment will follow. This class will be based on the participates needs or intent beginning with photographing nature with the cell phone to using that digital DLSR with interchangeable lens.
Uncommon Photos of Common birds – and beyond! Don’t pass up photo opportunities of common birds we see every day such as pigeons, doves, starlings, wrens, etc. Jim will show examples of photos that captured unusual or interesting behavior of birds we commonly see every day. In addition, Jim will give suggestions and techniques to help you improve your wildlife photography – whether you are shooting something common or rare and exotic!
Native shrubs and perennials for use in the home landscape with an emphasis on plants that attract a variety of pollinators, butterflies and birds.Sweet Bay Nursery Website
From Wild Birds Unlimited: Make your yard "bird-friendly" in order to attract the greatest variety and number of birds by providing the basics of food, water, shelter, and nesting areas. Learn the elements of a thoughtful bird feeding station, which includes different types of feeders and the foods that will work well in your yard.Wild Birds Unlimited Website
Paul will discuss the recent population crash of Snail Kites and the apparent recovery that is now happening. The good news is an exotic apple snail is fueling the recovery and the bad news is our native apple snails seem functionally absent from many south Florida ecosystems. See what this means for Kites and ecosystem management in Florida.
In this presentation we will discuss birding in East Africa, primarily Kenya and Northern Tanzania. We will take a virtual safari to the varied environments in this beautiful part of the world and look at the diversity of the birds inhabiting them. Then we’ll look at ways to experience this adventure on a real photo safari.
Increasing human demand for freshwater has affected flow
seasonality and volume of rivers around the world. The Apalachicola River drainage with
records of over 330 species of birds is examined in detail to document how river health
Barn owls are supremely adapted for preying on mice and
rats, and are one of nature’s most prodigious rodent predators. However, nationwide their
populations have dwindled, with the loss of nesting habitat and hunting areas. Featuring
the use of nesting boxes on the perimeters of open fields, the University of Florida Barn
Owl Program has greatly enhanced barn owl populations in the Everglades Agricultural Area
of south Florida. Readily adopted by the agricultural industry, the program has
successfully reduced the use of chemical rodenticides by growers and has resulted in some
of the highest barn owl densities in North America. Not one to miss an opportunity, Dr.
Raid readily enlists the assistance of these raptors for outreach/extension, educating
both adults and youths about how wildlife and agriculture cannot only co-exist, but
benefit one another. This talk is filled with pictures of cute little owlets, anecdotes
about owls and teachers, and graphic descriptions of eeeewwww! …..owl pellets!
Full consideration of the magnitude of conservation
challenges that exist at both local and global scales can rightly leave a thoughtful
person feeling bereft of hope. However, many professional wildlife biologists need some
semblance of positivity in their lives to operate effectively, and support from the
general public is reliant in part on positive messaging that effectively conveys
conservation successes. Here, I review recent conservation successes and failures
that have occurred in Florida to demonstrate how one can develop a pragmatic,
empirically-based optimism despite the daunting suite of threats faced by wildlife.
A thorough explanation on the planning, implementation,
and adaptive management for Restoration of Former Agricultural Lands at Perico Preserve
in Manatee County. Or in simpler terms, what was done at Perico Preserve and why.
Translocation of protected species is an important
conservation tool that has been demonstrated to be effective for select species and
habitats. Quest Ecology has participated in the successful translocation of Florida
scrub-jay, burrowing owl, Florida mouse, and gopher tortoise, as well as rare plant
species. Site selection and management is key to making translocations work and will
be the focus of this presentation.
Not all of the lands acquired through the Jan K. Platt
Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program are in a pristine state. Some
were converted to agricultural land and others have succeeded into hardwood forests due
to lack of fire. This presentation will show how Hillsborough County’s Environmental
Lands Management Section restores these lands to a more natural habitat.
See the bay from a different perspective – underwater! Explore
Tampa Bay’s seagrass meadows, mud flats and reefs. Learn about what lives there, who eats who,
and what these communities reveal about the health of our estuaries, and our planet. This
virtual photo and video tour will immerse you in an amazing world of seahorses, stingrays,
snook and sharks, all without getting wet!
“Some birds eat fish but all fish have ages." The how, what,
why, and when of estimating the ages of fishes from the Tampa Bay area and beyond.
Includes live demonstrations!
Restoration aquaculture is an emerging field that uses
cultured aquatic animals or plants to actively restore habitats or populations. In Florida,
restoration aquaculture is happening with finfish, oysters, seagrasses, bay scallops, and
corals, to name a few. This talk will provide a general overview of restoration aquaculture
including examples, legal and ethical considerations, and future directions.
The tantalizing tarpon has fascinated anglers since the
beginning of written history. From an infant with fangs to a shark’s fancy feast, this
silver beauty will captivate you with its life history tricks. To learn more about the
amazing abilities of Tampa Bay’s Silver King and how the everyday angler can help with
the conservation of the resource please plan to attend her seminar.
Photo credit: Brian Timmons
Dragonflies are commonly seen but may be the least
understood of any of our flying creatures. Paul will be presenting a program on the
biology and natural history of dragonflies found in west central Florida. He will also
show some of the more common species seen in our area.
Come explore the wonderful world of Florida butterflies
with the man who wrote the book! What’s here? Where are they? How do you know who they
are? Find out!
Learn what plants you need to attract butterflies to your
Learn about the natural history and conservation of an
imperiled estuarine turtle, the diamondback terrapin. Although terrapins occur in 16
states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the coastline of Florida represents
approximately 20% of their entire range. Five of the seven recognized subspecies occur
in the state’s extensive salt marsh and mangrove habitats, including three endemics.
Photo by George Heinrich
"An effort to save the Eastern Indigo Snake." The talk will
include population management for the captive breeding program, challenges of breeding
and raising Eastern Indigo Snakes, how to operate a reintroduction program, photos of
this year's release, and goals of the reintroduction project.
Scientists have long recognized that anurans (frogs) are “the
canaries in the coal mine,” so to speak. In recognition of this, the Frog Listening Network
was established back in the late 1990’s and was created to teach interested naturalists
frog calls, with the objective of providing environmental education and generating data that
could be used to track the species richness of frogs within the Hillsborough River Basin.
This talk will describe all of our endemic frog species, their habitats, and their calls.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
has many internal programs and interagency projects aimed at preventing, eradicating, and
managing priority nonnative species. The Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator
merianae) is considered a high priority invasive by the state because of their potential
impacts to native ecosystems. Breeding populations have been documented in both
Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties in Florida and FWC has been working alongside
regional partners to manage these populations. We will discuss the FWC’s current
nonnative programs, background and updated information on management of tegus in
Hillsborough county, and how others can help.
This session is for those who participated in the Friday
Photography seminars and/or who went on the special Lettuce Lake Photography walk Friday
afternoon. Bring 4-6 of your photos from Lettuce Lake on a flash drive to share with the
rest of the group, and see what suggestions the professionals can give you to improve
your technique or make the best use of the equipment you have. Professional counseling
on the spot! Better photographs in a day!
"I am fascinated by animal behavior and I get my best
photographs when birds are not responding to what I am doing but are behaving as if I was
not there. A point I'd like to make is that some photographers at public places forget
that birds still need rest and quiet time. Just because birds are used to people doesn't
negate their need to sleep. We should treat and respect animals like family. We are all
creatures of mother earth and we should not interrupt birds' meals and sleep. They are
more likely to successfully perpetuate the roles they play in the environment if left in
peace, and that provides us with the quality of life that we enjoy here in this part of
Florida faces major challenges with water supply and getting
our diverse and changing population to conserve water. People want to do the right thing
but may not know the right things to do. Audubon’s Water for Florida’s Future program
will provide practical individual actions for saving water and energy in the home,
outside the home and in your community.
Mark Rachal will share biological history information about
one of Florida’s rarest species, the American Oystercatcher. This handsome shorebird is
easily identified by its striking black-and-white plumage and bright orange-red bill,
especially designed for prying open oysters. Mark will talk about the fascinating
behavior of oystercatchers, their long-term and very strong attachment to their mates,
dedication to their semi-precocious young, and territorial defense activities. He will
also discuss conservation efforts across the range of oystercatchers, where dedicated
biologists from New York to Texas are working to secure a better future for this coastal
nester. Photo credit: Patrick Leary
In this presentation I will introduce the diversity of
Florida woodpeckers, how they vary within and among species, and their roles in Florida
ecosystems. I will especially focus on conservation history and challenges we face in
assuring that woodpeckers continue to share our world. Is a Hairy Woodpecker really hairy?
What is a "cockade"? Does a sapsucker really suck sap? And whatever happened to the
In this presentation, I will introduce the behavior and
ecology of Loggerhead Shrikes whose populations in Florida appear to be doing well, while
those elsewhere are declining and endangered. What factors have influenced their success?
How can we build on these successes to further help this fascinating species?
Western North Carolina offers some of the finest birding in
the Eastern United States. Tree-covered mountains hold over 20 species of breeding
warblers and colorful wildflowers carpet the forest floor before the leaves open in the
spring. There's "nothing finer" than to be in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western
Carolina as life starts to creep into the mountains after the calm and brown hues of
winter. Join Asheville, NC resident, Simon Thompson, for an insight into the rich birding
of our Southern Mountains.
Unlike many raptors, Swallow-tailed Kites are social
throughout their annual cycle, in all aspects of their behavior. By nesting and roosting
in neighborhoods, forming large pre-migratory communal roosts, and foraging in large
aggregations, they assist each other in locating ephemeral food sources, detecting
predators, and synchronizing departures for their long, dangerous migratory flights.
Learn just how important this distinctive sociality is to Swallow-tailed Kites, and how
vital the undisturbed persistence of pre-migratory roost is to the survival of these
Several live birds of prey will be used to illustrate aspects of
predator-prey relationships, morphological adaptations that ensure success as predators,
bioaccumulation of toxins (i.e. their role as a sentinel species), and their role in maintaining
healthy, balanced ecosystems. The basic natural history of each species is also discussed along
with the impact of humans on their habitats and populations.
During this presentation, we’ll explore six clues to bird
identification: Body type, distinctive markings, bills, behavior, habitat, and sound. What
do these clues teach us about a bird’s identity? What else can we learn about birds from
examining these clues? The Bird Detective approach is a useful and fun way to help people
of all ages to learn more about birds. Adam Kent designed the program and wrote the guide
for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Migration is one of the wonders of the natural world. Not
only birds, but bugs, whales, wildebeests and even shrimp migrate. Tampa Bay is a real
hot-spot for avian migration. This presentation will talk about some of the most amazing
flights known so far, and what we’re learning about why, when, how birds migrate as well
as how they navigate. How we can help them on their way is also included.
Learn what you can do to educate anglers and the public to
Prevent Entanglement in your community. DON'T FEED THE BIRDS and if you hook a bird, DON'T
CUT THE LINE. This program outlines some of the main causes of waterbird entanglement and
the simple solutions determined by dedicated brainstorming volunteers! The program is
easily replicated, especially with the assistance of educational outreach, signage, and
enforcement from FFWCC.
Keith Wilkins will give a presentation that will touch upon the
various dangers that pelicans and other seabirds face out in the wild every day. He will explain
which dangers are caused by man, and what you can do to help reduce the high number of sick and
injured seabirds that places like the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary treat. He will also discuss how
birds are excellent indicators of when something is wrong in our ecosystem.
The volunteers of the Tampa Bay Raptor Rescue, which is a
relatively new non-profit, nevertheless have extensive experience rescuing eagles, Ospreys,
hawks, owls, and many other species of birds injured in the Pinellas and Hillsborough
County region. Nancy Murrah shares stories of some of the dramatic events that have
unfolded during rescue work, and talks about what we, as citizens of an avian world, can
do for our co-inhabitants.
Raptor Rehabilitation - Come learn about some of the unique abilities
a wildlife rehabilitator needs to know about the patients in their care.
Friday and Saturday expo and seminars only tickets: $20
Field trip tickets (Friday or Saturday trips include expo and seminars): $30-65Go to ONLINE REGISTRATION