[CT Birds] Milford Point

Mark Szantyr birdinggeek at gmail.com
Wed Aug 7 23:05:23 EDT 2013

I guess i am wondering if any of the regular data- keeping tern monitors have information showing the comparative numbers of birders VS non-birders observed disturbing the tern colony in this or previous field seasons. 

This would be interesting to see in light of this discussion. 


On Aug 7, 2013, at 10:46 PM, charles barnard jr <chbarnjr at gmail.com> wrote:

> As someone who has monitored nesting Least Terns and Piping Plover on an
> annual basis  for many years until I finally "packed it in" this season, I
> feel that Scott's post has a lot of validity. Part of the monitor's job is
> to write down the disturbances observed and the specific cause. Was there
> evidence of predators? Were fishermen observed? Walkers? Food trash or bait
> left behind? Dogs on leash or off leash? I have been literally cursed at
> for telling people with dogs who were off-leash and running through fenced
> off areas to leash their dogs. So, I know what the job is like and what the
> problems are.
> The bottom line is that disturbance caused by humans is an important factor
> in the abandonment of nesting colonies. This usually happens when birds are
> still on eggs. Once chicks hatch, the birds get more tenacious about
> staying put.
> As far as the "big tides" go, that is a large factor as well. However,
> there was a large drop in numbers of Least Terns reported between June 26
> and July 6. I don't think there were any unusually high tides in that time
> period, although I will have to go back and check. Of course, the 4th of
> July fireworks event occurred in that time period and may well have been a
> factor, despite a big effort to minimize the disturbance by Plover/Least
> Tern volunteers and staff. The volunteers do a good job and so does the
> staff. They put in a lot of time and effort and the conclusions which they
> arrive at are based upon direct observations.
> I know that Nick and others care about the well-being of Piping Plovers and
> Least Terns. So do the volunteers who monitor them. Trust what the staff
> and volunteers say, because it is true.
> Charlie Barnard Jr.
> Stratford
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