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June 17, 2019

Keewaydin Island coexisting nesting birds and caged sea turtle nest Peak nesting season for seabirds, shorebirds and sea turtles is in full swing at Rookery Bay Research Reserve. As different wildlife species settle in to nest on area beaches, they often end up practically side by side!

A visit within the reserve to Keewaydin Island offers a prime example of this type of coexisting beach nesting behavior with caged sea turtle nests and roped off areas for nesting Wilson’s Plovers and Least Terns only a few short feet from one another. Currently, five pairs of plovers are nesting on Keewaydin and 233 sea turtle nests have been discovered.

May 28, 2019

turtle intern first nest 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it's finally here! Sea turtle nesting season has begun!

In the early morning hours of May 8, the turtle team headed out to Cape Romano to do our daily sea turtle nest survey. While walking along Morgan Beach, we discovered our first false crawl. Full of excitement, we headed to New Beach where we saw another crawl. This time, however, it was a nest! Woohoooo! That meant it was time to get to work.

After analyzing the crawl and carefully digging, we located the eggs. We caged the nest and recorded our data - all with the help of our volunteers, Brian McLaren and Sally Ganem. Everyone was so excited we finally had our first nest!

kids with shark 250WHAT: Kids Free Fridays
WHEN: Every Friday, June 14 - Aug. 2, 2019
             9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
            300 Tower Road
            Naples, FL 34113
HOW: Admission is FREE for children 12 and under; must be accompanied by an adult.
Adult admission is $5 (free for members).

April 11, 2019

snegnest2 250While Rookery Bay staff are very proud of the shorebirds that call reserve beaches their “winter getaway” or “permanent home,” we are equally proud of the wading birds that rely on the estuary for roosting or nesting. In fact, Rookery Bay Reserve has a deep history with wading birds and has been monitoring nesting wading birds near Marco Island since 1979. This colony, called the ABC Islands, and the dynamic nature of wading bird behavior, is what makes me love my job as an avian biologist. My favorite work in Rookery Bay Reserve is monitoring breeding wading birds and I always appreciate the opportunity to share my passion and knowledge of these birds.

least terns 16WHAT: Breakfast with the Birds Lecture Series
WHEN: May 23, June 27, July 23, Aug. 20
             9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
              300 Tower Road
              Naples, FL 34113
HOW: Cost of $15 includes pastries, juice and coffee. Advance registration is required.

Book now

2019 posted areas2 250Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve provides important habitat for beach-nesting birds including least terns, black skimmers and Wilson's plover. Below is the list of areas that are closed this year in cooperation with Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. All are considered "partial" closings with exception to Second Chance Critical Wildlife Area, which is completely closed to all landings. A "partial" closing involves shorebird signs tied together with string and flagging around an active nesting area. People may stand or walk outside of the signs but may not cross the string to prevent accidentally stepping on eggs or chicks. Even the experienced eye can miss hidden nests.

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