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Annual event features birdwatching tours, education

March 4, 2020
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The sixth annual Southwest Florida Birding Seminar will feature birdwatching tours around Lee County as well as educational insights, Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14. 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 Lee County Conservation 20/20, will be hosted at Florida Gulf Coast University and include field trips to local bird hot spots. The seminar welcomes birders of all levels and anyone interested in learning more about birds.

The March 13 activities are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include:

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- Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve North birdwatching tour - participants will join a Conservation 20/20 guide at one of Lee County's newest preserves open to the public; possible sightings include birds of prey, limpkins and other wading birds.

- 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 bird 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 14 activities are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at FGCU and will include presentations from expert speakers about birds. Topics will include birdwatching around the world, the rehabilitation of injured birds and hot spots for birdwatching in Southwest Florida.

Among the list of speakers are Audrey Albrecht, coastal wildlife manager with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, who will speak about beach-nesting birds, and Dr. Jerry Jackson, wildlife biologist and professor emeritus from FGCU, who will discuss woodpeckers in Southwest Florida.

Registration is $35 for both days, which includes a catered lunch on Saturday. To register, visit 2020birdingseminar.eventbrite.com.

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