TAVARES – Lake County’s Parks and Trails Division is hosting two Quarterly Bird and Butterfly Surveys in February, led by expert birder and Trails Specialist Gallus Quigley.
The first will be held from 7:30 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Ellis Acres Reserve, 25302 County Road 42 in Paisley and the second will be held from 7:30 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Lake May Reserve, 36300 County Road 44A in Eustis.
“Spring migration is already winding up with Purple Martin, Swallow-tailed Kites and other early migrants arriving,” said Quigley. “Wintering species like ducks are already preparing to move north again, while owls and eagles’ young are nearing the fledging stage.”
At Ellis Acres, participants can expect to see wintering sparrows in large numbers as well as flocks of American Goldfinch. There is also the possibility of spotting a Pine Siskin, a rarely seen species in Florida.
Depending on water levels at Lake May, Bonaparte’s Gull and Hooded Merganser may be viewed on the water’s edge, while the old grove could hold a rare Ash-throated Flycatcher or wintering Baltimore Oriole. Wintering warblers such as the Black & White, Prairie, Yellow-throated, and Northern Parula should still be present throughout February.
To participate in either of these free events, knowledge of common species is a plus, but not required. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, field guides, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and hiking shoes.
This year, Lake County Parks & Trails will host quarterly Bird and Butterfly Surveys in five different parks and preserves. Volunteers are needed to assist in surveying the bird and butterfly populations to help with management of the properties.
To make a reservation for the Bird and Butterfly Surveys, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks/event_reservations.aspx.
For more information about the Lake County Parks & Trails Division, call 352-253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks. For updates on the county’s Parks & Trails Program, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLParks.