LEESBURG —The Lake County Parks & Trails Division will conduct a bird and butterfly survey on Friday, Oct. 14 from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR Park), located at 4800 University Ave., Leesburg. Naturalists of all abilities are encouraged to assist Lake County Park Rangers in a census of the park’s birds and butterflies.
“Mid-October should have lots of migrants and new arrivals like Grasshopper Sparrow, Black-throated Green Warbler, Cape May Warbler, and Indigo Buntings,” said Gallus Quigley, Park Ranger and Biologist with the Parks & Trails Division. “We’ll also get a chance to see fall wildflowers that are attracting a broad array of butterflies including Zebra Swallowtail, Monarch, and Cloudless Sulphur.”
Birders must be able to identify most common birds by sight or sound and have their own binoculars and field guides. Volunteers participating in the butterfly survey should be able to identify most common species. The activity will include hiking about two to three miles over uneven terrain.
PEAR Park is the largest County park at 318 acres, and is divided into two distinct areas. The “Gateway,” or front 50 acres, is being developed into an active recreation area. The remaining 268 acres is a preserve dedicated to the area’s historic ecosystem including areas for the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay and declining Northern Bobwhite “Quail” and Eastern Meadowlark. The 268 acres also holds a community garden, native butterfly garden, xeric garden, nature center, two scenic pavilions and access to hiking and nature trails.
All survey-takers are encouraged to bring water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
For more information or reservations, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks.