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…

10000 Birds – Birding with Baby

Over a month had gone by since the birth of my first child. When you don’t know anything about babies, the initial 30 days are a crash course in hormones and learning how to take care of a newborn – feeding, diapering, and so much more. I barely had time to shower, let alone take…

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…

10000 Birds – New Birds, New Reasons to Be Late to Work

I recently moved to Tallahassee, a city known for its robust network of lakes and ponds. From natural formations to impoundments, reservoirs to golf-course carve-outs, there is a lot of water in Tallahassee. My new house sits adjacent to one such lake, which probably used to fill up naturally during rainy times but has been artificially impounded…

DUN Magazine – Salt. Water. Quality.

It’s a bright Florida day as Captain Gabrielle Mercado reverses her Lady Luck Adventure charter boat out of the slip and motors towards the Choctawhatchee Bay. The emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico are just over the dunes in the intracoastal waterway, and she keeps a close eye on her GPS as she moves…

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…

Voices for Biodiversity – Livable Shorelines

Choctawhatchee Bay encompasses a large estuary along the Florida Panhandle, a watershed that stretches across Okaloosa, Walton, Washington and Holmes Counties before extending into Alabama. Fed mostly by the Choctawhatchee River — the third largest river in Florida by volume — the bay exchanges water with the Gulf of Mexico through Destin’s East Pass. Bordered…

National Parks Traveler – Shrinking Glaciers Podcast

Featured in this week’s episode:   “Hurricane Dorian literally sliced up Cape Lookout National Seashore, creating more than 50 breaches in the park’s barrier islands. At Western Carolina University, Professor Rob Young says the hurricane’s damage was astonishing. How that damage will impact recreation on the seashore remains to be seen. Traveler also discusses this…