Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

December 2015 Speaker

Our December speaker will be Milton Heiberg, a photographer, writer and naturalist now living and working in Orlando.

Milton’s life is similar to the history of photography. At age eight he was given a Brownie Target camera and started making black and white prints in the basement of his home in Brooklyn, NY, where he was born and raised. He grew up with a camera in his hand. It was usually, but not limited to, 35mm equipment outdoors, and everything else up to an 8x10 view camera in his Manhattan studio where he spent a good part of his adult life. Now, as a complete convert to digital photography and Photoshop, he has covered most of the revolutionary changes in the world of photography.

His undergraduate education in business administration at NYU prepared him to run a successful studio business in Manhattan’s Photo District. There he did advertising and location photography. His education at Cornell Graduate School of Biological Sciences further prepared him for his first love, wildlife photography.

He taught nature photography and founded the New York City Audubon Society’s photo committee, its annual photo contest, and the Nature Photography course, which he taught until he moved to Florida in 1998.

He currently works out of his studio in Orlando, and teaches photography and Photoshop courses at the Crealdé School of Art, in Winter Park. He is a faculty member of Digital Photo Academy, teaching all levels of photography and Photoshop courses. He serves on the Board of Directors at the Orange Audubon Society and is involved with running their Chertok Photo Contest.

Milton has written six books and numerous articles on photography. The most recent is The Essentials of Nature Photography, Tern Book Company—a complete handbook of nature photography. He is a frequent presenter and lecturer on wildlife photography, special effects, and general photography. Tens of thousands of his images have been published worldwide.   His website is

Milton titles his presentation “The Florida Scrub Jay – Poster Child for our Drinking Water.”  His objective is to draw attention to an appreciation and a connection between the Florida Scrub-Jay and Florida's major source of drinking water—the aquifer.

The slides will show different banding techniques, and how they transfer scrub jay families from an area where there is an abundance of families to one where the population is waning—which also helps genetically healthy interbreeding. The talk will be about the bird's habitat, its family life style, its intelligence, and its friendliness to humans. Scrub jays are non-migratory, so that the divided areas of smaller populations are subject to weakness through inbreeding. Some populations have shown signs of evolving into separate subspecies.

Milton will also point out the scrub jay's dilemma as a result of the past few decades of habitat loss through poorly chosen construct sites. Its habitat all over Florida has been divided by the building of large tracts of homes. The scrub jay's habitat happens to be the scrub areas—the soft sandy areas that recharge the aquifer. If this area is replaced by rooftops and roads, both the scrub jay, and the human populations will suffer.

We will understand how vital these scrub areas are to our own dilemma—our drinking water. We need the general public to know and love this bird as the poster child for our water supply. As a result there will be a stronger voice against building variances on scrub land. Threatening the habitat of our beloved bird is something the larger public will not stand for if it is linked to our drinking water

Refreshments will be served.