Nesting Shorebirds Challenged by Disturbances

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Shorebird Biologist Audrey Albrecht reported on Wednesday, May 6, that there are three known snowy plover nests.

“One plover nest was lost to depredation, possibly crow or ghost crab. We observed tracks of both in the vicinity of the nest,” said Albrecht. She also reports two active Wilson’s plover (Charadrius wilsonia) nests, and potentially a third yet to be located.

“We had the beginning of a least tern colony at Bowman’s beach with a high count of four birds incubating nests on Sunday. Unfortunately, they were harassed by crows continuously, and ultimately the colony failed.”

As of Tuesday, May 5, all the least terns were gone. She observed crow tracks, tracks of people, and dog tracks inside the enclosure around where the nests had been. Albrecht boated up to North Captiva the following day and found the least tern colony had relocated there, where they nested last year.

She urges all beachgoers to do their part in keeping these birds safe.

“We continue to see more unleashed dogs than usual, and large crowds of people around our shorebird nesting areas especially on the weekends,” adds Albrecht. “Please leash dogs and respect our enclosures to protect our nesting shorebirds.”

Anyone with questions about shorebirds can email shorebirds@sccf.org

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