The Audubon Society of the Everglades will meet Tuesday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, located at 6301 Summit Blvd. near Jog Road. The meeting is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for light refreshments.
Attendees will learn about a Project Perch Florida burrowing owl translocation. In 2015, Project Perch volunteers, in partnership with the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the South Florida Wildlife Center and the Town of Davie, relocated a burrowing owl colony from the airport to West Ridge Park.
A South Florida Audubon Society conservation program, Project Perch is working to stabilize and increase the burrowing owl populations in southeastern Florida, principally through passive attraction to nearby schools and parks.
Burrowing owls often choose airports as a preferred habit. Owls see airports as wide-open grasslands relatively free of predators and with ample opportunity to procure insects and other prey. But airports with owls are not safe for owls or airplanes. The goal of Project Perch is to provide the owls with safe homes in suitable habitat.
There will be four speakers at the meeting: Mat Natali, who will speak about his job as wildlife biologist at the busy Fort Lauderdale airport; Dr. Renata Schneider, director of wildlife rehabilitation at the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale; Kelly Heffernan, an avian biologist and the founder and director of Project Perch; and Paul Kragh, an owl guardian and Project Perch coordinator in Broward County.
The Audubon Society of the Everglades has funded a Palm Beach County chapter of Project Perch with the goal of growing the area owl population. Learn more at www.auduboneverglades.org.