Cornell Lab of Ornithology Tour

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Chariman's Council birding in a Buck Island Ranch hardwood hammock.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Chairman’s Council is a generous group of leaders who enable the Lab to pursue excellence in international scientific discovery, education, citizen science, and conservation. Each year, the Council takes a birding eco-tour led by the Executive Director of the Lab and Archbold Board of Trustee Dr. John Fitzpatrick and his wife Molly. On March 22 & 23, the Lab brought these adventurers to Archbold with the well-respected Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. The group spent their first two days in the Fort Myers area visiting Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area. Archbold's Avian Ecology Program Director Reed Bowman accompanied the tour sharing, 'We were treated to one of the most cooperative Red-cockaded Woodpeckers I’ve ever watched, foraging within 20-30 feet of the group for nearly 20 minutes. A real treat for many who were seeing this species for the first time'. The group then headed to the renowned Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to watch for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds. Inland to Archbold, the adventurers spent two days exploring the unique habitats of interior Florida, a world apart from coastal metropolitan areas learning about Archbold’s famous studies on the Florida Scrub-jay and the role that fire plays in the Florida scrub ecosystem. Then to Buck Island Ranch where the guests experienced the science, conservation, and beauty of Florida’s ranchlands with Wood Storks, Limpkins, and Crested Caracaras. Bowman added, 'As the sun set, John Fitzpatrick called in a pair of caterwauling Barred Owls who watched us as we watched them! A BBQ under the stars capped the evening. The opportunity to showcase Archbold to such a dedicated group was delightful, and memorable for all.'