What’s new in the natural world on Skidaway Island? Skidaway Audubon has the answers!
- Bluebird Trail - Skidaway Audubon maintains the Dave Scott Bluebird Trail, 185 birdhouses bordering The Landings golf courses. It is one of the largest monitored bird trails in the Southeast. Year-end data shows there has been great success increasing the bluebird population. However, other songbird populations, such as chickadees, brown-headed nuthatches, and titmice have significantly decreased. Moreover, a recent Cornell University study revealed that in just 50 years, bird numbers have dropped 25 percent nationwide. Skidaway Audubon is working with Cornell to determine how Skidaway bird nesting data can support the university’s ongoing research. Skidaway Audubon’s plans for 2020 include an initiative to encourage other songbirds to nest along the Bluebird Trail.
- Turtle Totals - Skidaway Audubon’s 2019 Diamondback Terrapin Project produced 2,222 hatchlings that were released into our marshes. This brings the number of hatchlings released in The Landings to 15,125 over the past 10 years. The turtle egg rescue and release project is the largest of its kind from Cape Cod to Corpus Christi. For the second year, the team of eight volunteers attempted to identify terrapins that repeatedly return here to lay their eggs, and recorded data such as date, number of eggs laid, location, etc. Their groundbreaking work will immensely add to the scientific data on terrapins.
- Bird Cam - Thanks to the efforts of many skilled volunteers and generous sponsors, the bird cams and a new nest were successfully erected and are awaiting a new occupant. A great horned owl has been seen checking out the site. Watch live at landingsbirdcam.com.
- Golf FUNdraiser: Planning is underway for the 2020 Skidaway Audubon Golf Tournament. The annual FUNdraiser will be May 11, 2020, at Plantation and Palmetto, and will include lots of fun, food, and prizes. Mark your calendars!
- Friends of Skidaway Audubon - It’s shopping season! Support Skidaway Audubon through AmazonSmile, a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases to a charity of your choice. Click on the AmazonSmile link at the bottom of Skidaway Audubon’s home page (skidawayaudubon.org). Then be sure to do your Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com. The donations are made at no extra cost to you.
- Sparrow Field - The many volunteers who keep the pollinator garden in shape with weekly “work parties” have concluded the bulk of their tasks for the season. Spent flowers have been cut back, and invasive Virginia Creeper vines have been chopped to the root and will be removed in the spring. It’s also time to mulch tender perennials to protect them from the cold, sharpen tools, and make note of what to buy when the spring planting season arrives.
- Bat Houses - Bat houses can draw unwanted bats away from homes and attract them to areas where they can consume massive amounts of mosquitoes and other insects. Skidaway Audubon has installed and maintains bat houses along five golf courses. Landings Woodworkers Guild volunteers built 10 bat houses and plan to build four more. Using aircraft-grade aluminum poles that can withstand high winds, the houses are installed as high as possible in locations with early morning sun and proximity to water sources. Volunteers are working with golf course superintendents to determine the best locations for the four additional bat houses.
- Weather Stations - Skidaway Audubon volunteers put up a weather station at the Dog Park. This will complement data gathered at the other weather stations on the island. The information, posted at georgiaweather.net, can be used to determine the need for lawn irrigation, preventing unnecessary watering. The Weather Stations installed across the island were made possible through the donations and volunteer hours of many Landings residents, including some members of Skidaway Audubon.
For more information about these and other Skidaway Audubon programs, visit skidawayaudubon.org.
This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website. Visit landings.org to read the original article. https://landings.org/news/2019/12/19/audubon-updates