Post-conference Field Trips

Please download and complete the Field Trip Release Form and bring it with you when participating in AOU 2011 field trips.

Osceola National Forest:
Long-leaf Pine Forest Specialties

Saturday 30 July 2011. Approximately 6 am - 2 pm.
Cost: $30, which includes lunch and transportation from the Hyatt.

The long-leaf pine forests of the southeastern United States are the prime habitat for a number of listed and endemic bird species, especially Red-cockaded Woodpeckers Bachman’s Sparrow, and Brown-headed Nuthatch. Osceola National Forest, lying 45 minutes west of Jacksonville, has ample stands of long-leaf pines of various age and burning regimes. The leader, Jim Cox, of Tall Timbers Research Station, will demonstrate capturing nuthatches and Bachman’s Sparrows as part of his research program.

Pelagic Birds of the Gulf Stream

Saturday 30 July 2011. Approximately 4 am - 9 pm.
Cost: $150, which included transportation to Ponce Inlet from the Hyatt.

The Gulf Stream and its pelagic birds are most easily accessible in Florida off Ponce de Leon Inlet, about 1.5 hours south of Jacksonville. We will hope to reach the Gulf Stream quickly, where our chances our good to see Black-capped Petrel, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Great Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, early migrating jaegers, and possibly tropicbirds. A long list of rarer species awaits the more optimistic birders. The Pastime Princess (http://www.pastimeprincess.com/) is the perfect vessel for pelagic bird trips, fast, stable, roomy, with a seasoned crew experienced in conducting pelagic bird trips. Leaders will include Michael Brothers, of the Marine Science Center, Andy Kratter, of the Florida Museum of Natural History, and other veteran pelagic leaders from Florida.

Breeding Marsh and Waterbirds of Northeast Florida

Saturday 30 July 2011. Approximately 7 am - 2 pm.
Cost: $50, which includes boat fare, lunch, and transportation from the Hyatt.

Participants will board a large, shaded, and stable pontoon vessel for an extended cruise into the NPS Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, offering prime opportunities to view reclusive marsh species. Katy NeSmith (Florida Natural Areas Inventory) will share her knowledge and insight of the distribution, status, and nesting biology of two local subspecies: MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrow and Worthington's Marsh Wren. Local naturalist/researcher Patrick Leary will discuss the status and biology of regional American Oystercatchers and other shorebirds dependent on marsh habitats throughout the year. The tide schedule appears favorable for exploring Nassau Sound with its nesting colonies of Black Skimmers and Gull-billed Terns. The cruise will begin and end at Kingsley Plantation on Ft. George Island.