Bird Notes

Fire and Wildlife Management at Tall Timbers

Fire Training ClassThe Stoddard Bird Lab organized a fire training class in October with gracious assistance from other Tall Timbers staff.  A total of 46 state and federal land managers came from throughout Florida and Georgia to hear the latest research on fire and wildlife management. Participants learned about new useful technologies and developed on-the-ground fire management programs that addressed everything from quail to Bald Eagle management. Working with such an important group of fire practitioners is part of the DNA here at Tall Timbers and helps to underscore our role as the home of fire ecology.

“The written critiques and verbal comments were all very complimentary regarding all aspects of TTRS involvement with this class,” said Jim Schortemeyer, the administrator of the class for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Thanks for making this our best class ever!”

Samantha Dietz The Stoddard Bird Lab is also experimenting with new ways to map out winter home range extents for Brown-headed Nuthatches. It’s a tricky issue with such a small songbird because the radio transmitters available for this type of work last only three weeks and it can be really difficult to catch nuthatches during fall and winter. We’re experimenting instead with the use of recorded playbacks at points that are randomly placed near the nest sites used last spring.  Incoming grad student Samantha Dietz hopes to make this a focus of her thesis work at Florida State University and is working tirelessly to find the best way to track this very small bird that uses very tall pines.

Finally, many thanks go out to everyone who contributed to BirdQuest, our annual fundraising event for the Stoddard Bird Lab. We saw 76 different species of birds this year and had pledges that totaled more than $10,000. The generous support will go a long way toward unearthing more fascinating facts about the birdlife of the Red Hills region.

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