The beaches are covered with baby birds from terns, black skimmers, gulls and a small colony of least terns, the only known colony nesting on islands in north Pinellas.
“The first gull and tern eggs were found in April,” says Dan Larremore, an Environmental Specialist with the Florida Park Service at Honeymoon Island State Park, who has been monitoring the nesting activity on Three Rooker Bar.
“That would account for the flight capable juveniles were seeing now,” he adds. “The first chicks were seen in June.
Chick rearing should go on for another month. We have roughly 5000 pairs of laughing gull, 500 pairs of royal tern, 100 pairs of sandwich tern, 200 pairs of black skimmers, 50 pairs of least tern, and 3 pairs of American oystercatchers.
An amazing colony for a crowded place like Pinellas!” Larremore would like to remind boaters to leave dogs home, or use Honeymoon Island for doggy beach breaks.
About a half dozen stewards, volunteers from the local Audubon chapter, stay on the island weekends and holidays reminding people to stay away from the nesting areas, which are closed, and to not let dogs loose on the island.