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Fall Migration

Fall migration is more than just for the birds. Between dodging more pedestrians and cars on Venice Avenue and seeing more visitors at Rookery Park, it is clear that fall migration to the Venice area is well under way. It’s a wonderful time of the year for Venice Area Audubon as winter residents and visitors return to our area and we begin to anticipate the upcoming breeding season at Rookery Park. A special “welcome home” to those who’ve been away for the summer or on fall vacations!

We look forward to seeing you at our next monthly program focused on conservation, "The Annual Christmas Bird Count" hosted by Bob Clark, on Tuesday, November 14. 

Special Mentions

We have two special mentions to kick off the month of November!

First, Venice Area Audubon’s Little Naturalists Program, developed by VAAS Board Member and environmental educator Eileen Gerle, was a big hit with the wee crowd last season. Audubon Florida recognized the Little Naturalists Program with the 2023 Outstanding Education Program Award at the Audubon Assembly held in late October. Learn more...

Secondly, Audubon Florida’s Conservation Leadership Initiative (CLI) pairs Florida college and university students with Audubon chapters throughout the state to provide an experiential learning opportunity through Audubon activities, intergenerational mentorship, and networking. Venice Area Audubon is pleased to welcome CLI student Colin Jefferis, a third year Environmental Studies major at New College of Florida who has been paired with mentor Jean Pichler until May 2024. Learn more...

Colin and Jean

Upcoming Field Trips

The cooler, less humid Fall weather has finally arrived! It is a great time to get outside and welcome back the returning migrant birds. The following field trips are coming up in November. Our thanks go out to all those hosting field trips.

Celery Fields - Thursday, November 2

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - Thursday, Nov 9

Manasota Scrub Preserve - Saturday, Nov 11

Lemon Bay Park - Saturday Nov 18

Red Bug Slough - Sunday, Nov 19

State College of Florida - Wednesday, Nov 29

Please consult the Field Trip page on our website for trip timing and other details. There are sometimes changes in trip timing or additional trips may be added. Most local field trips will take about 2 to 3 hours. Please wear sturdy shoes, bring water, wear a hat and use sunscreen. Field trips are free, unless there is an entrance fee such as at state parks. However, donations are gratefully accepted.

Photos from recent field trips

Outdoor Safety Program

Prevention is key to staying safe while working, volunteering, and enjoying outdoor activities. Sarasota County Parks Naturalist Teresa Good is presenting an Outdoor Activity Safety Program at the Venice Audubon Center to help us be better prepared for the many activities we love to do.

The program will provide information on identifying and avoiding health hazards while working or recreating outdoors, especially in Florida's hot and sunny climate. Emphasis will be on preventative measures and responding to injuries, including heat stress prevention. This is NOT a first aid certification class.

Register Now

Three Cheers for Volunteers!

VAAS volunteers at Alligator Creek EcoFest

November is a wonderful time to consider volunteering during the winter season. Whether you’re in Venice as a full-time resident or a seasonal visitor, your enthusiasm and time make an impact on the work we engage in. Because of volunteers, Venice Area Audubon is able to fulfill our mission: to promote an understanding of and interest in wildlife and the environment that supports it, and to foster the cause of conservation with emphasis on birds and their habitats.

Read More and Volunteer

In Search of New Board Members

Venice Area Audubon Society is in search of additional members to the Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly, represents VAAS and our mission, and takes an active role in decision-making, planning, and ensuring the implementation of conservation and education programs throughout the year. Basic skills for Board candidates include organization, timeliness, and proficiency with Microsoft Word and Gmail. Interest or experience in native plant gardening, coordinating volunteers, and/or fundraising are most helpful for the current Board openings. If any of the above information describes you, please contact We are happy to provide more information and discuss the possibilities!

Diane Bassett - Teacher, Colleague, Friend

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Diane Bassett on August 28. Diane was battling a very aggressive cancer that was diagnosed in April 2023. For the last eight years, Diane had been a teacher for our VAAS Second Grade Birdwatchers Program. Before retirement, she taught middle school and high school science at several Florida schools for nearly thirty years. In addition to her work with the Second Grade Birdwatchers Program, Diane selflessly gave her time to the Salvation Army, the Englewood Library, several retired teacher organizations, and found opportunities to mentor former students.

Diane’s knowledge about birds, coupled with her enthusiasm and outstanding teaching skills, provided her second-grade students with memorable experiences. After a lesson at the school or a field trip to Rookery Park, you would often hear students tell Mrs. Bassett that it was the best day ever, and they couldn’t wait to bring their family to the Rookery for bird watching. Diane was an inspirational teacher, respected colleague, and awesome friend. Her presence will be greatly missed. In honor of Diane Bassett, the Venice Area Audubon Society is hoping to memorialize her at the Rookery.

Diane Bassett, seen here at the Venice Rookery, had been a teacher for our VAAS Second Grade Birdwatchers Program.

Bird Bits

Audubon of Martin County Juried Photography Contest & Exhibition
“Florida’s Natural Beauty” is the theme for this year’s photography contest. Entries accepted until November 30. 

North Shore Birding Festival 
Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, Lake Apopka, Florida
One of Florida’s premier birding festivals. Information and registration details.

Birding with Biologists at Rookery Bay Reserve
November 8 and monthly

Geared toward beginning birders, Birding with Biologists’ monthly program takes place at Donna Fiala Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples. Led by local expert biologists, participants learn how to identify local birds in the field during this fun and informative class. Registration is required

From the Archives

In September 2012, a new website was introduced to help Venice Area Audubon improve and enhance communication with members and the public. As part of the rebrand, a new email alert to be called ChipNotes was initiated later that season. Wings & Things continued to headline the newsletter for several more years.

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