Monday, July 6, 2009

Nesting Skimmers

It is to be hoped that the crowded beach and fireworks did not disturb the ground nesting black skimmers located in Cocoa Beach. Friend Margie (beach coordinator for the City) had found two nesting pairs late last month during her morning patrols, but we decided not to draw attention to it. Now, Margie reports: the Species Conservation Planning Section of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (regional office in Ocala) is working with the City of Cocoa Beach to help protect the birds. They are quite excited about it.

We have staked off a pretty good-sized area around the two nests, and each of the nests is individually staked off inside the larger buffer zone.

If all goes well, the 6 eggs should hatch in a week or 10 days or so. Fingers crossed at this point. One of the guys at FWC said this is the first ground nesting colony in Brevard County he's heard of.

The black skimmer is listed as a species of special concern in Florida, and like the least terns we posted about recently, loss of habitat has driven skimmers to nesting on rooftops. We'll hope for good things for these nests.
Margie and her trusty camera will keep us posted. (Click on photos to enlarge)


Cactus Jack Splash said...

Here is hoping that people left the nests alone and that the fireworks didn't upset them

Caroline said...

They are so neat! I watched skimmers working the shallows at sunrise while walking the beach on Sanibel several years ago. Ma Nature does create some unusual critters.
Hope the nests survive and thrive!

Margie said...

The nests survived the fireworks Saturday night. As of this morning (Monday the 6th), both nesting pairs are still on the nests. Hoping for babies in another week or so. Margie

R.Powers said...

In the NPS, I protected a nesting skimmer/tern colony at Matanzas. Chicks die quickly in the sun during the first week or so when the parents are spooked off the nest.
Even by nature photographers....

Cactus Jack Splash said...

That is great news!