Since early April I've been monitoring nesting plovers and Least Terns out
at Stump Pass in Englewood. This past weekend a culmination of factors came
together with devastating affects on the colony. Flooded rivers from the
13-20 inches that fell throughout the area, combined with a New Moon tide,
on shore winds, and tropical storm-like conditions. On 26 June I recorded
130 Least Terns incubating eggs and brooding small young, plus a Snowy
Plover pair had laid a second clutch after failing on their first attempt.
On my next visit on 2 July, all of this was lost except one lone, half
grown tern chick.

In talking with researchers on Knight Island, and then with Charlie Ewell
it appears the same occurred from Estero on up. Out of curiosity, I was
wondering how far reaching the affects of these conditions were. I was
wondering if anyone else out there noted major losses in nesting colonial
birds as a result of these conditions.


Jeff Bouton
Port Charlotte, FL
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