Dear Auduboners, the birds you care about need your help! Spend a few hours on the beach and give a better chance of survival to some Least Tern and Wilson’s Plover chicks!
It is this time of the year again: nesting time for Least Terns and other beach-nesting birds. And our County, once again, looks like it will be home to the highest number of beach-nesting Least Terns on all of Florida’s East Coast! We currently have Least Terns nesting at Porpoise Point, Anastasia State Park and Summer Haven. Wilson’s Plovers are nesting at Anastasia State Park, Fort Matanzas National Monument and Summer Haven, and they already have chicks running around.
With these good news of the nesting comes the responsibility of having the birds protected, and with three Least Tern colonies active simultaneously, we are in need of bird steward help. Bird stewards are volunteers posted by a nesting colony; they mostly do outreach – showing the hard to see birds to beach goers and sharing conservation concerns about beach-nesting birds - and they help prevent disturbances that could be fatal to the eggs and chicks like dogs or people walking through the protected area.
Over Memorial weekend, stewards were posted at all sites and their reports show how much people appreciated learning about the birds and how they prevented several problems to occur. Last year, high school students joined the bird steward program as part of a community project, and they felt so rewarded helping the birds, that several of them are back this year, bird stewarding the terns at Anastasia!
The bird steward program is organized in partnership with all the land managers (State Park, National Park Service, GTM NERR and St. Johns County), with FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), and their law enforcement staff.
Please consider joining us for a shift or more protecting the Least Terns on the beach. To volunteer please email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your email to the appropriate person. Thank you in advance, even a few hours of your time will help!