Nature Notes for May 28, 2010

The Snowy Plovers on Siesta Key are doing ok.  We visited them and watched the little chicks scurry around their nesting area.  If you’re a Snowy fan check them out on Twitter @ Snowy Plover SRQ.  Michelle is posting notes frequently as to their status.   

Snowy Plover on Siesta Key

2 Snowy Plover chicks on Siesta Key

Little Snowy Plover nest. Two more eggs were added later that day.

Snowy Plover on Siesta Key

This is a critical weekend for the Snowys.  The beach will be busy with vacationers this holiday weekend who, for the most part, don’t really care or understand that they even need to care, about the endangered birds.  They’ll play catch, throw cheese puffs in the air at the seagulls and crows, build castles or just set up their seats and blankets near the roped buffer areas without reading the posted signs.  They won’t even know that the chicks, the size of their big toenail and the color of the beach, will be running from buffered area to the waterline during the day.  The chicks will be easy to step on.  Please, please, please be careful around these areas, no matter what beach you are on.  It’s important that these birds survive; they’re currently endangered.  Please don’t throw food at the gulls or crows.  They’ll fly above the nesting areas and spot movement below; they’ve dive in and grab a chick or an egg.  Please stay out of the roped areas; they’re federally protected and you could be arrested or fined. Play ball far enough away from the buffer areas so you don’t risk the ball going into it.   They’re will be Audubon volunteers patrolling the areas; beach employees patrolling the area.  Please enjoy yourself today on the beach, but respect our efforts to protect endangered species.

No oil on our beaches here in FL and both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach AL are clean, too.  Please come visit.  Stores we’ve visited here in Sarasota have told us that even though this is typically a slow time (between the snowbirds and the summer vacationers), it has been even slower this year.  The oil in the Gulf has caused many people to cancel their reservations for vacations along the coast.  To me it’s silly.  The oil is so far away from most beaches and there are plenty of other things to do on our coast, even if the oil was lapping our shorelines.  Please come and visit.  Florida is open for business and so is Alabama.  Check out this website for updated info in Alabama: http://www.gulfshores.com/issues/.

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