Hammock Bird Banding Project Summary – Fall 2016

By Jim McGinity, Master Bander

Tennessee Warbler identification confirmation.    

Tennessee Warbler identification confirmation.    

Visitors releasing a bird after banding.

Visitors releasing a bird after banding.

This fall season was fairly calm with good weather, but yielded a few surprises. We caught a total of 89 birds of 24 different species including 12 recaptures. The big “winner” of the season was the Gray Catbird (28 birds caught) with the Northern Cardinal in second place (15 birds caught). 

The surprises included 2 new species to the station. These were a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and an Orange-crowned Warbler. The warbler was the last bird caught while we were closing up the nets on the last day! We enjoyed having a steady stream of visitors including a field trip group from the Florida Birding & Nature Festival (a total of 87). We are looking forward to a productive and busy Spring 2017 season. If you would like more detailed information about the fall 2016 banding season (with more photos), you can visit the project blog:  www.hammockbirdbanding.wordpress.com

I want to thank all my dedicated volunteers! I couldn't do this project without them. Also, thank you to the support of Clearwater Audubon Society for all their support.

It's Unanimous!

Dunedin Votes Unanimously to Annex and Preserve Environmentally Sensitive Land. As a Result, Hammock Park Grows to Nearly 100-Acres. 

The 8 (MOL) acres of land is an an ecological area designated as "Scrubby Flatwoods". The key characteristics are the presence of an open canopy of slash and sand pine, with a saw palmetto understory containing intermittent patches of bare, white sands. Small areas of blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) as well as narrowleaf silk grass also persist in small openings. This community occurs on gentle sloping terrain supporting moderately drained soils. Though this habitat is relatively small in size, it represents a unique habitat relative to the predominance of other mesic/hydric habitats found in the park and provides the only suitable habitat for a small population of the State listed threatened gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), requiring proper management. 

We want to extend a heartfelt thanks to our city commission — Mayor Bujalski, Vice-Mayor Livingston, Commissioner Kynes, Commissioner Gracy, Commissioner Tornga, and Mr. Hutchens, as well as the city staff. The hard work they put in has been inspiring. They listened to the citizens, asked questions, and acted with speed and purpose to find a solution throughout a delicate situation. For that — we thank you.

We also thank every Dunedin citizen and Hammock Park user throughout the county for the time and energy put forward in making this city aware that buying and preserving the wooded acreage adjacent to the gopher tortoise colony of Hammock Park is a top priority among us. High-density townhomes are welcome elsewhere.

Our group’s commitment must not stop! We’ll continue to advocate to secure funding such as Pinellas County BP money, grants, the Florida Communities Trust, or private sources to lessen the burden on Dunedin's LDO. And we will continue our own fundraising program — underway since last month.

We want to thank the Seller, Our Lady of Lourdes, for stepping back from a development contract that would have destroyed the habitat treasured by our citizens.

And we want to thank the developer holding that contract, Taylor Morrison, for also stepping back and allowing for renegotiations between the City and the Seller.


They did their part, now we must do ours. Help fund this amazing addition to an amazing park!!

BP Economic Settlement Funds Survey »

Let Commissioner Eggers (District 4) know he has YOUR support to choose the OLL property purchase as a worthwhile ecological greenspace cause for BP Economic Settlement funding. The Board of County Commissioner's Work Session for this issue was July 12. More Info »

Other Sources of Funding

Application ends August 30! More info »

Current City Commission for the City of Dunedin:

  • Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski Email                                              
  • Commissioner Heather GracyEmail                     
  • Commissioner John Tornga Email
  • Commissioner Deborah Kynes Email       
  • Vice-Mayor Bruce Livingston Email   
  • Email the Commission      

News Archive on This Issue:  

Dunedin commissioners approve purchase of Catholic church land near Hammock Park

City leaders may have chance to save land near Hammock Park

Tortoises or townhomes? City, residents tangle over fate of church-owned land near Hammock Park

Nearly 100 Dunedin residents protest local church's plan to sell to developers

Stories that caught our eye

Dunedin to close on land near Hammock Park


Plan to buy land near Dunedin's Hammock Park may get $250,000 in BP money


Taylor Morrison Drops Tides GC Development Plans


Neighbors, environmentalists applaud deal to buy land near Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

Tampa Bay Times »

Friends of the Hammock Winning the War on Air Potatoes


People and Trees: An Intimate Connection


This is Your Brain on Nature, January 2016

National Geographic »

FotH Logo

The Friends of the Hammock is a non-profit group created in 1995 to help provide support for educational, beautification, management and charitable programs associated with the Park. We meet concurrently with the Hammock Advisory Committee which was formed in 1964 as a way for citizens to assist in reviewing conditions and in making recommendations to the City Commission. Since the Advisory Committee is comprised of 7 members, the FOTH was formed to provide an outlet to the many other people who want to be involved.

For a list of park facilities, please refer to the City's guide here. More information and history can be found in the Hammock Library.

2016 Friends of the Hammock Directors and Board Members


President: Sue Humphreys
Vice-President: Pen Jennings
Treasurer: Pat Jennings
Secretary: Theresa Polgar

  Board Members: Bob Davison, Nancy Davison, Steve Fasnacht, Jeff Gow, Sue Gow, Ellie Keithly, James Polgar, Margie Sullivan, Susan Wallace