Palm Beach District School Students Chat with a Ranger About Sea Turtles – Live
As part of our Natural Science Education Program, Palm Beach School District students will join in on a LIVE-ON-LINE conversation with MacArthur Beach State Park Rangers on Monday, April 8 at 1:15 pm. The discussion will focus on sea turtles which nest on MacArthur Beach.
Everyone is invited to view the presentation by clicking on http://breeze.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/turtles/ as a guest.
Environmental Champion Award to Be Presented at NatureScaping 2012
Saturday, April 14, 1:00 p.m.
The Environmental Champion of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park’s NatureScaping 2012 event has been selected and he is Neal White, Director of the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy. Neal White has been the Director of the Environmental Academy at Jupiter High School since its inception 19 years ago. He has given his time and energy tirelessly and unselfishly, inspiring hundreds of students along the way.
Neal also shows his students the importance of volunteering. His students have assisted in massive exotic plant removals, general tract clean-up, the re-introduction of native plant species, and the planting of scrub oaks; worked on a wetlands construction project; conducted tortoise burrow monitoring; and potted mangrove seedlings. For Neal volunteering is a year round event. He and his students stay active in year-round monitoring of the Jupiter Inlet Natural Area. Some of the projects that Neal has been involved in include: adopting newly-planted scrub oaks as a senior-class project, leading volunteers in an ongoing wetlands construction project, and planting over 7,000 mangrove seedlings.
Please join us in recognizing Neal White, as the 2012 Environmental Champion for Palm Beach County on April 14 at 1 p.m. at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. Park Entry is free all day.
At low tide, among the great blue herons and white ibis feeding on the mudflats, you just might think you see something pink. Yes, there have been regular sightings of the Roseate Spoonbill in the lagoon this summer.
Sometimes mistaken for a Flamingo, the Roseate Spoonbill is a true Florida native. Like the flamingo, it is believed that the inclusion of carotenoid-rich shrimp in the bird’s diet of is responsible for their bright coloring. The bird’s striking colored feathers made the species a target for plume-hunters, and in the mid- to late-1800s they were driven to the brink of extinction in North America and Cuba. Their numbers also suffered with the draining and pollution of their wetland habitat; by the early 20th century, there were only a few dozen nesting pairs of roseate spoonbills on this continent. Spoonbills received legal protection in the 1940s and their numbers slowly started rebounding in parts of the southern U.S.
Beyond being pink, another distinguishing characteristic is the Spoonbill’s strange and strategic bill shape. The bird’s spoon shaped bill is ideal for feeling for and feeding upon small fishes, crustaceans, mollusks, slugs, and aquatic insects; while wading in the water, the bird swings its head from side to side with its bill slightly parted, snapping shut as it contacts food.
Spoonbills are very social birds. They spend most of their time in the company of other spoonbills, as well as other water birds. Not only do they feed in groups, but they nest in colonies with ibises, storks, cormorants, herons and egrets. So the next time you are strolling across the boardwalk when the water’s low, keep your eye on the mud flats and think pink.