To the editor:
If you love our summer beach nesting birds - Wilson's and Snowy Plovers, Least Terns,
Black Skimmers and maybe even a pair or two of Oystercatchers they are again
assembling on our beaches in Lee and Collier Counties, so it's time for all who want to see
them have a fruitful nesting season to gather as well.
The 2013 nesting season was a tremendous success, with the start of oystercatcher nesting
in south Lee County and over 1000 skimmer nests on Marco. We collectively engaged
hundreds of people (weekends only) in bird watching, quick tips to help the nesters, and
collected essential data on nesting numbers/disturbances. We hope our stewardship, as well
as minimal storms, will enable the birds to succeed this summer. The Little Estero Island and
Marco Island sites are among the most important in the State! We also monitor about a
dozen rooftop nesting colonies for Least Terns in both counties a fascinating phenomenon.
Volunteers are needed and you don't have to have any prior skills just curiosity and
love for the birds. All stewards receive training in both beach & rooftop stewarding
(one engages people, the other finds you in parking lots possibly handling chicks) and
Beach-nesting bird steward training will be at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in the
Pavilion at Parking Lot 5 on Saturday, April, 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. Go to
www.floridastateparks.org/delnorwiggins/default.cfm for more information. RSVP: bcornell@audubonWE.org .
We will also feature nesting bird ID training by biologist Keith Laakkonen and
naturalist Charlie Ewell. Enjoy bagels and refreshments with us, too!
We hope to see you there!
Southwest Florida Policy Associate
Audubon of Southwest Florida