Vulnerable beach-nesting sea and shorebird colonies lost sizable numbers of eggs and young chicks as Hurricane Elsa churned across the state this week. Even downgraded to a Tropical Storm, Elsa pushed high tide surges that swamped the low-lying beaches, covering eggs and tiny chicks with water and windblown sand.
“Early storms are always devastating to beach-nesting birds,” explains Marianne Korosy, PhD, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Florida. “Our sea and shorebirds were already having a difficult season as a result of human interference, from walking through roped-off areas to fireworks to outbreaks of red tide, especially around the Tampa Bay region. Early storms add another major threat.”
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