TITLE

MONITORING COLONIAL NESTING BIRDS IN ESTERO BAY AQUATIC PRESERVE

AUTHOR(S)
CLARK, CHERYL P.; LEARY, RAYMOND E.
PUB. DATE
March 2013
SOURCE
Florida Scientist;Spring2013, Vol. 76 Issue 2, p216
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve is a shallow-water estuary which contains a diverse array of natural communities that make it an attractive environment for wading and diving birds to forage and nest. Nest surveys conducted in Estero Bay for the last four decades detect trends in wading and diving bird populations while engaging and educating the public through volunteerism. Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) nest counts conducted in May show a significant decrease in nesting pairs in Estero Bay; a loss of approximately 5 nesting pairs per year across the record of study. Comparisons of historic April nest counts to modern nest counts for great blue heron (Ardea herodias) show an increase of 158 percent, which represents a gain of 32 nesting pairs between the two time periods. Other species showing increasing trends in nest counts are yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea) and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), while anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) showed a decreasing trend. Species-level analyses of more recent standardized monitoring provide a more detailed view of population trends in the bay including shifts in species composition and peak nesting times. Future analyses should include nesting data collected by other agencies to assess nesting success on a larger geographical scale.
ACCESSION #
87631671

 

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