Mark your calendar now to attend the fifth annual Southwest Florida Birding Seminar on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. The annual event explores the science and value of birds in Southwest Florida and beyond.

The event, sponsored by UF/IFAS Lee County Extension and Conservation 20/20, will be held at Florida Gulf Coast University and include field trips to local bird hot spots. The seminar welcomes birders of all levels and anyone interested to learn more about birds.

March 15 activities are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include:

  • Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve North birdwatching tour – Participants will join a Conservation 20/20 guide at one of Lee County’s newest Conservation 20/20 preserves opened to the public; possible sightings include birds of prey, warblers and woodpeckers.
  • San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Preserve sunrise birdwatching tour – Participants will join a Lee County Bird Patrol guide to explore the natural beach habitat at this Conservation 20/20 preserve, which is critical to the survival of many shorebird species.
  • Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek birdwatching tour – Participants will join a Lee County Bird Patrol guide to explore this birding hotspot in Alva; possible sightings include Swallow-tailed kite, wading birds and warblers.
  • Photographing Birds instructional workshop at Powell Creek Preserve in North Fort Myers – Participants will learn beginners’ tips for photographing birds, including scouting for birds, anticipating behavior, and recommended camera angles to tell a unique story through images.

March 16 activities are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Florida Gulf Coast University and include presentations from expert speakers about birds. Topics will include birdwatching around the world, the effects of red tide on birds, and tracking bird sightings using online apps.

Among the list of speakers are Robin Bast, staff veterinarian with the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel who will speak about treating birds affected by red tide, and Mark McBride, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who will discuss ducks in Florida.

Registration is $35 for both days, which includes a catered lunch on Saturday. To register, visit https://2019birdingseminar.eventbrite.com.

For more information, contact Jason Boeckman, Conservation 20/20 Coordinator, at jboeckman@leegov.com, or 239-204-1125.