Nov. 4, 2014
~Annual event highlights wildlife and habitat~
Participants take part in a ‘Birding For Beginners’ field trip at Sand Dollar Beach.
Registration is now open for dozens of field trips to wildlife hotspots across southwest Florida as part of the 11th Annual Nature Festival hosted by Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve from Jan. 16-18, 2015.
This annual event provides opportunities for residents and visitors to explore wildlife habitat and learn about nature within the region from experienced naturalists and scientists.
Three days of field trips include walking, driving, biking, paddling and boat tours. Most tours are offered in cooperation with regional partners such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Field trips range in price from $10 to $100. Each tour has limited space and requires online registration by clicking here.
In addition to field trips, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center will host a day of on-site activities and lectures on Saturday, Jan. 17. Marine life touch tank, guided trail walks, educational booths and other activities will be ongoing throughout the day. A partial agenda includes:
- 11 a.m. South Florida Birds and Gardens (Kirsten Hines)
- 12 p.m. Living Roofs, Flowers in the Sky (Eric Foht)
- 1 p.m. Bird Behavior (Jack Berninger)
- 2 p.m. Poachers in Paradise (Geoff Trager)
- 3 p.m. Least Terns (Ted Below)
Admission to the Environmental Learning Center on Jan. 17 is $10 ($5 for members).
The keynote presentation will be “Roseate Spoonbills in the Everglades: A Look into the Past, Present and Future of the Flame Bird” with Pete Frezza, research manager- Everglades Region, Audubon Florida’s Everglades Science Center. Frezza will discuss findings from Audubon’s 75-year history of monitoring roseate spoonbill populations in southern Florida. This will include a look into historical nesting patterns in Florida Bay and factors that have led to changes in their population over time. Frezza will also give a brief overview of Everglades restoration projects that are expected to improve conditions for these birds throughout the ecosystem.
The cost to attend the keynote presentation is $15 and includes light refreshments.
Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is located at 300 Tower Road, off Collier Boulevard between Naples and Marco Island.