I hope this message finds you safe and in good health. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives and how we view the world. Protecting natural resources at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary remains our top priority. Although we operate in new ways, our work continues.
As conditions allow, our land management team will advance with marsh and prairie restoration. May and June are when we typically implement the first phase of restoration. Ideally, this is done as close to the end of the dry season as possible, but before the rains. Again, this year, we plan to make progress on our goal of 1,000 acres by 2022. In the meantime, our land management team maintains critical fire breaks across the Sanctuary.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary boardwalk has been closed to the public since March 16. We share your frustration that the boardwalk must be closed. During these times, we know that being outdoors can be a refuge. With the boardwalk closed, our education team is developing new ways to engage with the public virtually. Please join us for our first virtual lunch and learn on April 29.
Fortunately, it is possible to bird at home. I thought I would share some of my excitement this week as a participant in the Audubon Florida statewide Birdathon. Launched on Earth Day, this weeklong competition challenged Audubon staff to count as many birds from their yards and windows on one day while supporters pledged support for their sightings. In addition, all members of the Florida birding community are encouraged to contribute their backyard observations for the entire week for a chance to win prizes. I just submitted my species list with a total of 22. My favorites were the Red-headed Woodpecker and Swallow-tailed Kite. Development Manager Sarah Lathrop counted 20 birds from her yard in Lee County, while Public Programs Director Sally Stein submitted a whopping 26 species!
While I would much prefer to be directing Sanctuary operations from my office, I had a very enjoyable day working from my patio and spotting birds. We’re fortunate to have a bird-friendly place to live when it is safer to be at home.
I hope you will join the Birdathon and enjoy birdwatching from your neighborhood, wherever you are!
Thank you for your support of Corkscrew Sanctuary. We hope to see you as soon as we can re-open!
Lisa Korte, Ph.D.