The Weekly Shorebird Update is Back!

May 10, 2022 —

Hello all! 
Please feel free to share information about my new monthly beach bird walk series I am having on Siesta and Lido. .

Nesting season has officially kicked into gear! This past week I was very busy with posting and we now have two active Least Tern colonies and the Black Skimmers are finally on eggs. The crows have been a problem at all sites, thank you to the volunteers who have been out and collected observation data. I am keeping FWC biologists updated on the predator issues we are experiencing. 
The skimmers are in a good spot and I counted over 1000 birds in the colony this past week with about 17 birds in incubating posture. It is still early and there is still a lot of courtship and copulation happening but now, with eggs on the ground, it will be crucial to have stewards out there. Over the last week I have received multiple reports of dogs on the beach, in the evenings especially. Today I noted a set of large dog tracks that entered about 15 feet into the colony. Dogs are not allowed on Lido beach and can cause major disturbances to the birds, especially at this early point in the season.
There are up to 93 Least Terns with 7 nests at Lido and about 43 terns with 20 nesting at Longboat. The crows have been flying over the Lido colony and frequently flushing them. Today I witnessed the first instances of predation of eggs. Hopefully the colony will grow large enough to provide adequate defense from the predation.

Still no Snowy Plovers nesting but I will be doing a Siesta survey tomorrow and then I will be hosting the second monthly beach bird walk on Siesta at 9. We will meet at the volleyball courts at the main public beach. We have seen a drop in volunteers this year so please share!

Kylie Wilson, Shorebird Coordinator
(941) 266-5407
(Pronouns: she, her, hers)
Audubon Florida,Sarasota,