For several years St. Pete Beach has been the nesting beach of choice for a colony of Black Skimmers. These beautiful, and protected (Florida threatened species) shorebirds nest on the sand in a large group; this behavior lends protection to the birds and their eggs, as the colony can work together to mob predators and drive them away.
There is usually some movement from one section of beach to another, but once the skimmers settle on a location, volunteers from Eckerd College and Audubon Florida post the area with stakes and signs so that we humans can give the colony space while the birds get down to business. And they do. 😉
During the summer, especially holiday weekends, volunteer stewards are needed to keep an eye on the colony and educate beach-goers about the birds. It’s a lovely way to spend time on the beach, so if you would like to participate, please use the Contact page to let us know!
Blue Turtle Society has enjoyed participating in juvenile skimmer banding activities (carrying juveniles to and from the banding team) with FWC, Eckerd College, and Audubon Florida. Many of the banded juveniles have already been re-sighted in other areas and this information will lead to better understanding the species’ ranges and needs.