Bird Banding/Mist-Netting Demonstration

Field Trip
Date: September 23, 2018
Time: 7:00am-11:00am
Location: Lake Lotus Park
Our September field trip will be a bird banding/mist-netting demonstration with Andrew Boyle of the Wekiva Basin Banding Station/Lake Lotus Park.  Lake Lotus banding station is undergoing a long-term study to determine whether avian biodiversity increases with the reintroduction of native vegetation and removal of non-native vegetation.
This is a great opportunity to learn about banding birds from a local expert. Also, a great way for beginners to learn about birds is to see them up close, first, before being able to identify them in the field.  Depending on how many birds we capture, members may be able to hold a bird after it gets banded to release it!  Great experience for kids, and there is not much hiking involved.
Banding times usually run until 11 am, but a guided nature walk at the Lake Lotus Park is optional once the nets close for the day. The site is shaded, but can heat up in the later morning. Please check out the Wekiva Basin blog for more information:
Suggested donation: $10/adult (members) or $15/adult (non-members)
Meet at the intersection of 414 and Gateway Drive in Altamonte Springs at 7am
Email Rebecca Smith at or call/text 609-553-0757 to register in advance. Space is limited to 10 individuals.

The Importance of Fire in Florida

Program Date: Sunday, September 2, 2018
Time: 1:30pm Social; 2:00pm Program
Location: Trout Lake Nature Center
Join Todd Angel, an ecologist / firefighter, and a 4th generation central Floridian with a love for its native flora and fauna, as he tells us about fire’s important role in Florida’s ecosystems.
Contrary to old beliefs, fire is not always detrimental to wildlife and birds.  In fact for some species it is a necessary part of life in their ecosystem.  What is important is the timing of the fire, especially for birds like the Grasshopper and Bachman’s Sparrows, quail, and other birds which nest on or close to the ground.
Todd holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Conservation and Management from Oregon State University. He is a volunteer for the Florida Forest Service at the Seminole State Forest’s Warea Tract and the Avon Park Air Force Range. He is a professional firefighter with the Orlando Fire Department. Additionally, he is a member of the Florida Native Plant Society’s Conservation Committee. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy and the United States Forest Service as a fire manager, wildlife technician, and helitac firefighter.

June Meeting

Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 2:00 pm

“Catching Fish, not Sea Turtles”

Retired sea turtle biologist, Sheryan Epperly Chester, will describe how scientists and pelagic longline fishermen teamed up to figure out how to reduce sea turtle hook and line bycatch on the high seas while fishing for swordfish and tunas. They developed a close personal relationship based on mutual trust. Their research has been published and the results were translated into federal regulations, and also were shared with the international communities that manage highly migratory species of finfish in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

May Meeting

Sunday May 6th starting at 2pm
“How to ID Common Insects”
Because we love birds and
are familiar with them most of us
can use the clues to figure out
which group a bird belongs to:
hawks, songbirds, etc. Then we
use other characteristics like
color, size, and markings to help
determine the specific species
of bird.
With insects it’s a little more difficult; often, insects are just
“bugs” and not something we care to ID, unless it is to pick
the best pesticide. Rebecca Smith, Environmental Scientist
and OVAS Board Member, is passionate about birds and all
aspects of nature, but one of her first loves was insects. At
this program she will share some insect terminology and the
clues which will help you determine which group or order a
bug you find belongs in. With that information, the next time
you find a beautiful iridescent insect with hard wing covers
creating a straight line on its back, you’ll have a starting point
to learn it’s name.