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

Minutes of SEVAS Meeting, Jan 2011

Don Picard opened the meeting with a greeting to attendees.  There were a total of 25 in attendance, including 5 new visitors.

New member heads a new organization:

We welcome Lyn Hoffman to our chapter.  Look for Lyn on to learn about the Florida Nature Photography Club. This is a non-competitive, non-critical group of people who go on nature-photography field trips.  This group will be of interested to any nature-lover who likes to sleep in-they usually don’t start off until 9 AM!

Secretary’s report:

Minutes of December, 2010 meeting accepted as posted on website.

Treasurer’s report:

 Balance as of Jan 18, 2011 was $3477.55.

Our 5013C approval has been renewed, so all contributions to SEVAS are tax deductible.

Christmas Bird Count report:

Thanks to all 41 participants.

 We were able to count 10 areas, instead of the previous 7, because of the high level of participation this year.

This year species total was 137 (plus 3 sightings that require documentation and further review.)  This is up form last year’s species total of 126.

Field Trip report:

Jan 14’s trip to the Merritt Island area yielded 72 species.  The large numbers of duck migrants were not being seen along the Black Point Drive; rather, they were in the ponds along the main NWR road out to the beaches.

Secretary’s comment: We have had heavy rain since the field trip, raising water levels throughout the area, so ducks may have moved around by now.)

Sat, Jan 22 field trip to Lake Apopka/Zellwood area will be reported at the February t meeting.

Birds fall from the sky:

See for interesting theories about recent reports.  This was not a unique event, and the phenomenon is not it well understood.

14th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count:

Feb 18-21, 2011-go to for details.

Shorebird survey: 

Friday, Feb 4, 2011.  Ken Gunn has again graciously volunteered to organize this event. Volunteers are urged to contact Ken or Don.  Counting can start at 8 AM, and you can offer as much or as little time as you are able.

Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival:

Jan 26-31, 2011 will be the 14th year.  This locally organized event as become one of the top festivals in the country.  There may still be room available on field trips, at workshops,  and lectures.  Exhibit Center at Brevard Community College North Campus is open to the public at no charge. It offers a variety of booths about native plants, wildlife art, crafts, tour companies, optics companies, etc.  There is always a live exhibit of rehabilitated birds of prey, and often a rehab’s Florida panther!  Details at

Reusable shopping bags:  

Availalble for sale by Gil Miller on behalf of SEVAS.  A great way to contribute to the health of our environment, and spread the name of SEVAS throughout your local community.

New fee schedules at MINWR and Canaveral National Seashore:

Maureen reported that the parks will be changing their fee schedules to include a new fee at MINWR.  There will be a public comment meeting in the near future.  For more info, check out MINWR's website at

Guest speaker:

Our scheduled speaker, Kristen Wirk, was unable to present, due to illness.

Coralie Gilson graciously gave a quickly-organized yet information-filled presentation. We are grateful to her for filling in the breach.  Coralie is the Project Coordinator for the Marine Discovery Center’s Waterfront Restoration Program. The program offers live mangroves, shore grasses, and live oyster mats for placement along the river shoreline of private homes/properties.  For information and assistance, contact her at,  call  386-428-4828, or write to

Marine Discovery Center

162 N. Causeway

New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

There being no new business, Don adjourned the meeting, which was followed by a time of socializing and refreshment

Respectfully submitted,

Fern R. Murphy, Secretary.