Please! Don’t Feed the Birds

This is important information if you fish. PLEASE do not feed fish bones or carcasses to pelicans or seabirds! It can be fatal.

Please…don’t puncture their pouches!

It is common to see birds at fish-cleaning stations, watching for an easy meal. But we have a request…please don’t feed the birds! Feeding wildlife is never a good idea, but pelicans are particularly sensitive to feeding. Fish carcasses can get lodged in their pouches and sharp bones can even puncture them, preventing the pelican from being able to eat. Feeding can also change their natural behavior, making them dependent on people for food. Intentionally feeding pelicans is illegal, and you could be subject to arrest. Anglers can remain committed conservationists by discarding fish carcasses and scraps in a lidded trash can or at home instead of in the water.

Torn pouches on pelicans are very difficult to repair. The pouch tissue does not behave like human skin. It can tear more under the tension exerted by sutures or staples, it heals very slowly, and if a tear heals, it remains weaker tissue and is prone to tearing again.

More information on avoiding injuries to and helping entangled pelicans and seabirds here: Avoid entanglement

It’s Baby Crane Season

PLEASE, share widely!

Sandhill Crane baby season is in full swing here in Florida! The chicks are precocious, meaning they leave the nest LONG before they are able to fly. Sandhill Crane colts are not fully feathered and flighted until they are almost 4 months old.

No, being sideswiped by cars does not “teach them to fear cars.” Birds do not comprehend that cars are dangerous. Birds do not understand that a roadway is different from an open field. No, the chicks will not “be fine” if one or both parents are killed. They are no more able to feed themselves or care for themselves than a 1-month-old human infant.

PLEASE drive with care and consideration!! This includes golf carts on golf courses. Tiny chicks cannot run fast or clear curbs quickly. The parents will not move because they are protecting their chicks. So, slow down! Please do not make these treasures roadkill.

Watch for Banded Lesser Yellowlegs

We are looking for your help this spring, summer, and fall! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- Migratory Bird Management Program (Alaska Region), Alaska Department of Fish and Game-Threatened, Endangered, and Diversity Program, and collaborators from across Canada are currently marking breeding adult Lesser Yellowlegs in an effort to determine apparent adult survival and nest site fidelity. In addition, a proportion of birds are equipped with leg-mounted light-level geolocators or Argos-GPS backpacks as part of a migratory connectivity study.

Please keep an eye out for any banded Lesser Yellowlegs in your area, and report all sighting to the email listed on the attached flyer.

Happy birding!

“For the Love of Florida” at Oxbow

The Oxbow is hosting a special speakers’ series called “For the Love of Florida: Telling the Essential Florida Story” at the Port St. Lucie Community Center between January and May. The series is designed to help people fall in love with Florida (all over again) by learning about the people and places that have made the state what it is, its environmental history, and a call to action to champion Florida’s waterways.

The first presentation is this Wednesday, January 9th at 6:30 pm (PSL Community Center, 2195 SE Airoso Avenue), and it’s going to be from the powerhouse Cynthia Barnett who will be presenting “Blue Revolution: A Water Ethic for Florida.” As you can see from the press release pasted below, Cynthia is an award-winning author and she was chosen to launch the series, which also ties into our St. Lucie Water Champions initiative. More information here:

For the Love of Florida