ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — Babies galore! St. Pete Beach is currently home to more than 600 black skimmers with hundreds of newborn babies and eggs just waiting to hatch!
The birds have established a colony right by a public parking beach access.
The black skimmer chicks are just starting to hatch on the beach and the Tampa Bay Bird Watch Stewards who watch them are very nervous that as the chicks start venturing outside of the colony’s protected area looking for shade or to cool off by the water, they'll be at risk being nearby so many beach visitors.
The Audubon is asking people, especially as July 4 weekend approaches, to give the birds space, watch out not to step on chicks or eggs (they blend in with the sand really well), leave fireworks at home and keep pets off the beach. The bird stewards say fireworks are a huge concern because they can scare the adult birds and make them abandon their chicks or eggs.
Signs and roped off areas are currently posted on the beach, similar to the areas we've seen to protect sea turtle nests.
Want to get involved? Audubon Florida is looking for volunteer bird stewards to help educate the public during the busy weekends and Fourth of July holiday. If you are interested in learning more about the stewardship program, please email Holley Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.