To conserve and restore South Florida ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats.
Tropical Audubon Society’s longtime board member and Steinberg Nature Center patron Alan Wolfe Steinberg died June 14, 2021, of natural causes at age 93. He was interred in Miami at Mount Nebo Cemetery. Alan will be remembered fondly and deeply missed by his Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) colleagues.
The Coral Gables resident joined the TAS board in 1980 and is its longest-serving member. Among his countless contributions, the founder of The Alan W. Steinberg Limited Partnership helped grow the TAS endowment and also made a significant contribution toward conservation education and grounds upkeep in 2012, at which time the campus was renamed Steinberg Nature Center
Alan is remembered here by TAS President José Francisco Barros ...
Alan Steinberg was a treasured and longtime friend of Tropical Audubon Society, and to me. He made me feel right at home when I first joined the board in 1992. We enjoyed each other's company immensely, whether we were hashing out organization business, birding, dining or traveling. When I took on the role of president of this conservation organization in 2002, he was there for me then, and has been there for me every step of the way ever since, kindly counseling me with his sage advice and offering his generous support.
Over the decades, we grew closer as friends. After discovering that my wife, Helen, and I share the same wedding anniversary with he and his late wife, Sue, we never missed the chance to celebrate the date together. Also an annual affair, he and Sue graciously hosted a group of birders every year on their big, beautiful boat, "The Sporty Pelican," enabling us to canvas Biscayne Bay and Fisher Island in style for the Miami Christmas Bird Count.
As a board member, Alan guided our organization with sound fiscal advice, which gave us financial stability and enabled us to continue to grow. I learned so much from Alan over the years about bird art, bird books and the importance of charity. He and Sue valued education greatly, and for that reason we have the Steinberg Nature Center grounds as an educational platform, which they funded to stimulate young minds on the importance and beauty of our natural environment. Tropical Audubon will profoundly miss this dearly loved gentleman.
Read a full obituary here.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Tropical Audubon Society in Alan's name. Click here to make a contribution in Alan's name.
Chirping About . . .
Tropical Audubon Ambassador Program Reimagined for Fall 2020 – Spring 2021
South Floridians interested in becoming more engaged, educated and effective environmental advocates are invited to register for the 2020-2021 Tropical Audubon Ambassador Program. Participants in the free webinar series will receive advocacy training and come away armed with in-depth knowledge about Everglades Restoration, Smart Growth and Biscayne Bay. The program’s goal is to empower graduates to activate their “Tropical Audubon Ambassador” education on behalf of South Florida ecosystems.
Over the course of the 7-month Tropical Audubon Ambassador Program, students will learn about the most pressing threats to South Florida’s environment, how to engage in the Miami-Dade County civic process, and how to participate in effective environmental advocacy campaigns. Spring field trips (subject to COVID protocols) will connect Tropical Audubon Ambassador students to local environmental communities and expand their understanding of the ecosystems Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) works to protect.
Aspiring Tropical Audubon Ambassadors will matriculate with a network of like-minded environmental advocates and participate in deep-dive Q&As with regional experts in their fields. Additional benefits include access to a Facebook group, a monthly advocacy newsletter, action alerts on critical conservation issues, an online toolbox of resources and leadership development opportunities.
The 2020-2021 series is open to anyone 18 and older, as well as to past Tropical Audubon Ambassador graduates. All participants are required to first enroll in a “Civics” webinar series then choose up to three 5-part webinar “tracks” of interest — Biscayne Bay, Smart Growth and/or Everglades — and cap the program with a “Campaigns” webinar series.For more information or to register, click here
Feds move to designate 1.5 million acres as habitat for rare bonneted bat
A WIN for the rare Florida Bonneted Bat! Following a legal challenge from Tropical Audubon and conservation allies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to designate 1.5 million acres as critical habitat for this endangered species.
Backyard Birding at Virus Time
Coral Gables Magazine
May 11, 2020 Mike Clary
Backyard Birding is a Thing – and a Temporary Way to Leave the News and Coronavirus Behind
In many ways, the coronavirus has stopped life mid-flight. We are not coming and going. We are staying. And that may be one of the silver linings to all this. We now have time to look around where we live, to notice things we ignored during our busy lives. For example, backyard birding.
I myself have been watching a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers construct a home in a dead palm tree in the yard of my next-door neighbor. The tap-hammering goes on from dawn to dusk. From time to time one of the birds pops out of the growing cavity to spit out a beak-full of sawdust which rains down onto the grass. This couple will soon be settling in to raise a family.
These birds – along with cardinals, mockingbirds, blue jays, palm warblers and other familiar neighborhood species – offer reassurance that the world has not been forever knocked off its axis.
“In a way this shutdown has forced us to take a little quiet time, stare out the window, sit out in the yard and watch nature right outside your doorstep,” says Gables resident Joe Barros, a dentist who is also president of the Tropical Audubon Society. “It takes you away from the constant barrage of the news. It’s a cleansing of the brain.”
It is springtime, after all, and the air is filled with avian activity and birdsong, Barros points out. You might spot a bright red cardinal calling from a treetop. Also, a screeching mob of blue jays chasing away a Cooper’s hawk. Moreover, way up high, spy a circling pair of swallow-tailed kites, just arrived from Central America and looking for a nesting site. “It’s a beautiful time of year,” says Barros.
Expert birders like Barros keep life lists – every species they have seen, anywhere in the world – and yard lists. His life-long yard list, much of it from the Gables, is 92 species long.
In Other News . . .
Our Bird-Friendly Demo Garden!
8th Annual Bird Day!
Paola Ferreira, our new Executive Director!
Upcoming TAS Birding Tours!American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Photo by Alexander Dzib
Mexico: Birding the Ruins of the Yucatan
Thursday, January 20 to Sunday, January 30, 2022
3 Spaces Remaining
Leaders: TAS Field Trip Coordinator Brian Rapoza and a local guide. Fee: $2,745.00 per person double occupancy, $345.00 single supplement. Fee includes transportation, lodging, guides and park fees. Not included is round-trip airfare to the Yucatan (arrival in Cozumel, departure from Merida), tips, laundry costs or other incidental expenses. To register or to view a detailed itinerary, click here. A $200.00 deposit is due at time of booking, balance of payment due by October 17, 2021.For a complete list of upcoming TAS birding tours, click here.