Saturday, May 26, 2012

Help coastal waterbirds Memorial Day weekend

The hazy, hot, and humid beach days have arrived in Connecticut as we enter Memorial Day weekend. As you can read in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds blog we have been recruiting all the help we can get to watch over tiny Piping Plover hatchlings during this extremely busy time on the beach. Please see this entry concerning the holiday weekend and this one from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. We need all the volunteers and monitors we can get to be out and active monitoring and surveying the birds, talking to beachgoers, and educating the public on the birds and what we can do to aid their survival. We can easily co-exist on the beach with these threatened species if we only keep an eye out for them and stay away from string fencing and nest exclosures.

However, volunteers are not the only folks out on the beach as full-time staff from Connecticut Audubon Society is joining in the effort with all of the seasonal staff from the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds. As the coordinator of the AAfCW project I was in field for several hours, and CAS Director of Education Michelle Eckman, an incredibly and experienced knowledgeable birder and Piping Plover lover, joined me for the day in Stratford and Milford. Below you can see her tying some flagging on to fencing we assisted CT DEEP in erecting around an area where a pair of Piping Plover and their four tiny hatchlings have been spending their time on Long Beach in Stratford.

I will show you all some of the images I captured of these adorable little cotton-ball-on-stilts looking chicks in an upcoming post after our busy weekend. Check out this new AAfCW entry for some astounding images from a volunteer.

CAS staff is active from dawn to dusk (and, well, sometimes all night too) seven days a week right now working to help ensure a successful breeding season for some of Connecticut's most imperiled birds. We hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend, but there are no weekends or holidays for birds or breaks in our nonstop efforts. We would not have it any other way.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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