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Nesting birds can be at risk when fireworks go off

Nesting black skimmers care for their young at one of several nesting colonies of black skimmers along Pinellas' municipal beaches Wednesday afternoon.  - Beth Forys, a volunteer with St. petersburg Audubon, head of Suncoast Shorebird Partnership, which monitors and protects beach-nesting birds, and a Professor of Biology and Environemental Studies at Eckerd College is worried about the skimmers whose nesting coincides with Fourth of July. "Right now is the peak of nesting and lots of birds have young chicks that can't fly yet," said Forys about the black skimmers. She added that fireworks scare the adult birds so much they fly off the nest and the young get confused and can run out of the colony and get trampled. "We see some mortality of chicks after the fourth of July," she said. "We have volunteers at all of the major municipal beach colonies to educate people." "We steward during the day on Fourth of July and Saturday the day after." Private fireworks and drunks can disrupt the nesting colonies.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Nesting black skimmers care for their young at one of several nesting colonies of black skimmers along Pinellas' municipal beaches Wednesday afternoon. - Beth Forys, a volunteer with St. petersburg Audubon, head of Suncoast Shorebird Partnership, which monitors and protects beach-nesting birds, and a Professor of Biology and Environemental Studies at Eckerd College is worried about the skimmers whose nesting coincides with Fourth of July. "Right now is the peak of nesting and lots of birds have young chicks that can't fly yet," said Forys about the black skimmers. She added that fireworks scare the adult birds so much they fly off the nest and the young get confused and can run out of the colony and get trampled. "We see some mortality of chicks after the fourth of July," she said. "We have volunteers at all of the major municipal beach colonies to educate people." "We steward during the day on Fourth of July and Saturday the day after." Private fireworks and drunks can disrupt the nesting colonies.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Nesting black skimmers care for their young at one of several nesting colonies along Pinellas' municipal beaches Wednesday afternoon. Beth Forys, a volunteer with St. Petersburg Audubon Society, is worried about the skimmers, whose nesting coincides with Fourth of July. "Right now is the peak of nesting, and lots of birds have young chicks that can't fly yet," said Forys, who is also a professor of biology and environmental studies at Eckerd College. These chicks can be in danger when fireworks go off, she said, because the fireworks scare the adult birds so much that they fly off the nest. The chicks then get confused and can leave the colony and get trampled. "We see some mortality of chicks after the Fourth of July," she said.

Nesting birds can be at risk when fireworks go off 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:36pm]

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