The public is invited to participate in the Big Day Birding Adventure, a “citizen science” activity to count birds within the varied habitats of Everglades National Park.
Meet at the Anhinga Trail parking area at 8 a.m. on the following Sundays: Jan. 24; Feb. 7 and 21; Mar. 6 and 20.
The Anhinga Trail is in the Royal Palm area of Everglades National Park, about four miles past the main entrance to the park, or 15 miles southeast of the town of Homestead.
Be prepared to drive your own car over 40 miles one-way to points of interest along the Main Park Road. The activity lasts about six hours and ends at Flamingo. Participants should pack a lunch and water and prepare for sun and mosquitoes. Some walking is involved.
This is a great opportunity for novice and experienced birders alike to observe and learn about the birds of the Everglades and to explore the park’s diverse habitats — from freshwater marsh to pine rockland to mangrove swamp to Florida Bay.
Rangers report usually seeing around 60 species of birds, with a possibility of viewing such feathered wonders as Purple Gallinules, Roseate Spoonbills, and rare Short-tailed Hawks.
Count results will be posted on the park’s website and on Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s online bird database, eBird. This “citizen science” activity will provide bird count data that can help to show trends in bird populations around the world, so scientists and managers may decide if further research or conservation efforts are appropriate for a particular species.
For more information, ask at visitor centers for a full description, or call 1-239-695-3092 or 1-239-695-2945. More information about Everglades National Park can be found on the park website at www.nps.gov/ever.