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Bird steward training offered

April 23, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

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

counting birds.

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 for more information. RSVP: .

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!

Brad Cornell

Southwest Florida Policy Associate

Audubon of Southwest Florida



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