Photo Club 6 PM
Potluck 7 PM
Program 7:30 PM
Pelagic Birds and Florida
Speaker: Michael Brothers, Dir
Marine Science Ctr, Ponce Inlet
Pelagic Birding off Florida's Coast
Black-capped Petrel, White-tailed Tropicbirds, Bulwer's Petrel, Manx Shearwater, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel – these are names that set a birder's heart racing in Florida. The pelagic birds are one of the last frontiers of our understanding of Florida's avifauna. These birds of the open ocean come from distant shores of the Arctic, or remote islands of the Caribbean and South America, or from the coast of Europe, northwest Africa, and even islands off Antarctica. These great travelers pass by our shores largely unseen. The difficulties of offshore access limit the numbers of observers, and this is compounded by the challenges of identification. Our knowledge is often limited to coastal observers getting a brief glimpse of a shearwater or storm-petrel. Systematic studies of Florida's oceanic birdlife are very few.
Michael Brothers, Director of the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, has been leading pelagic trips off the coast of Florida and Georgia for the last 12 years. This program will offer an introduction to this challenging group of birds as we continue to try to unravel the dynamics of the occurrence of these birds and their relationship to the oceanic environments.