Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
Hernando Audubon offers a beginner program for those interested in the adventures of birding.
As birding becomes more popular for those of all ages, the excitement of spotting birds is also a way to learn more about Florida’s wildlife.
“We never know what we are going to see,” Linda Vanderveen said. “Of course, the winter months are the best, especially nice during the migration time because we get some unusual birds, like the Indigo Bunting.”
Linda Vanderveen, Secretary for Hernando Audubon, has been leading the Birding 101 program for the past seven years. The program takes place at Chinsegut Conservation Center in Brooksville where a diversity of species can be found throughout the year.
A handful of experienced and beginning birders gathered together on the back overlook where an incredible variety of feeder birds made their morning appearance. Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Cardinals as well as Palm Warblers flew to the feeders filled with sunflower seeds.
“We can usually find Red-headed Woodpeckers, which are really fun for beginning birders to see because they are so showy and bright,” Vanderveen said.
The Red-headed Woodpeckers happened to be a popular bird for the day and even spotting some juvenile Red-headed Woodpeckers. The juveniles have brown colored feathers on their heads, but after a season of molting their feathers come in bright red.
It was another successful program for those that participated in birding 101, and what better way to end the hike than seeing a juvenile Bald Eagle gliding freely above the clear blue Florida winter sky.
“We want to encourage people that just want to try it, to come out and go birding with us. There is no pressure. We are out to have a good time and have a nice walk in the woods,” Vanderveen said.
Interested in Birding?
Check out Hernando Audubon for birding trips or email: [email protected] for more information.