Case Studies

Management and Restoration of Bird Island Rookeries and Beach Nesting Birds

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Topic: Management and Restoration of Bird Island Rookeries and Beach Nesting Birds

Discussion Group Leaders: Ann Paul and Mark Rachal, Audubon of Florida Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, and Rob Patten, Coastal Dunes, Inc.

Birds that nest in colonies are given the name colonial birds. Today this talk is about tree nesting birds. These birds are noisy, have large, odoriferous nests and are slow growing birds. Due to their size, hiding from predators is not an option. Adults nest on islands that don’t have mammalian predators. Mammal deterrence of inland swamp colonies are protected by alligators or currents. Adults on their nest can defend eggs from aerial predators.

Brown pelican species are of special concern. They breed and live year round in Florida. They nest in trees, stay one month on eggs and provide another three months of long term nesting care.

Great blue herons take three months after the eggs hatch for the young to fly from the nest.

Great egrets were hunted nearly to extinction and are still recovering.

Snowy egrets, little blues and tricolored heron are also important species. The reddish egret is the rarest heron in North America; about 375 are nesting in Florida.

We also see some cattle egrets, green herons, black crowned night herons and yellow crowned night heron. White ibis and roseate spoonbill are also tree nesting birds.

Wood storks are endangered both on the state and federal level.

American oystercatchers can also be seen here in Florida.


Is Bowlees Creek natural?

How can you preserve an area in this time of thin finances?

What makes these projects fall apart?

Why are tricolored herons declining?

Is there concern that wave breaks will provide more access for predators?

To what are the greatest losses due?

Are you aware of any efforts to encourage making more artificial islands?

Is the Cortez area fish preserve important to these birds?

All of the organizations I’ve worked for have the same types of people, but when you are approaching a group, try to develop relationships with an individual or groups of individuals and make sure you’re with the right people.

Have you seen predation by reptiles?

Is there concern for reptiles/snakes/taegu lizards going into turtle and bird’s nests?

Does Audubon look at exotics and take a stance on them?

An edition of WaterAtlas.org
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An Edition of wateratlas.org