Audubon Staff Return American Oystercatcher Chick to Rooftop Nesting Area

It was a hot and steamy day atop a rooftop seabird colony in Pinellas County. Least Tern, Black Skimmer, and American Oystercatcher chicks sought refuge from the sun’s glare beneath their parents or in the fragments of shade they could find on the gravel roof. While this unorthodox habitat may seem like a strange place…

Audubon – March 1 Marks the Beginning of Beach Nesting Bird Season

Spring brings nesting sea and shorebirds to Florida’s coastlines. Making scoop nests right on the sand, the plovers, terns, and American Oystercatchers must overcome storm surges, algal blooms, and human disturbance to successfully fledge chicks each year. So far, the first reported nests have come from Dog Island, with three Snowy Plover pairs successfully laying…

Audubon – Field Work at the Edge of Florida

Audubon biologist Alex Blochel loads up the Pathfinder boat at the Everglades Science Center (ESC), tossing in snorkel gear and measuring equipment for a full day of field work on the water. The dawn light has just crested the shiny leaves of Florida Bay mangroves, and he’ll need all the daylight he can get to measure submerged aquatic vegetation…

Audubon – New Living Shoreline

Mark Rachal steps into the 20-foot center console skiff, throwing rope lines back into the boat and motoring towards the Richard T. Paul Alafia Banks Bird Sanctuary. As he moves away from the boat launch, Brown Pelicans, Forster’s Terns, and Great Egrets wheel across the blue sky overhead, a testament to the importance of the…

Audubon Florida – New Records of Banded Skimmers in Key West

As the sun set on Key West, Florida, Dr. Kristen Markovich spotted a mixed flock of Black Skimmers and gulls. Using the remaining light, she photographed the birds, zooming in to take a closer look. A green band attached to the bright orange leg of one of the skimmers caught her eye: “0B.” Through this simple…

Audubon – Winter Brings New Birds to Walton County

Winter brings a sense of calm to our Gulf of Mexico beaches. A delightful chill means crisp, refreshing walks on the sand, or turning faces to the sun on breezy afternoons. Many of our summer birds have long since migrated, but an entirely new avian community moves in for the winter months. Read the entire…