"Save A Flightless Chick": Window and Bumper Stickers

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Sandstomper
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:08 am

We've seen several of these around this week, but are unable to locate them for purchase.

Anyone here know where we might find them, so that we can support the cause?

Thanks!
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PensacolaKid
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:16 am

On this note, a couple of observations based on my being there last week for 9 days.

I did notice that the vast majority of drivers absolutely observed the 20 mph speed limit once you hit the bird area. I estimate that I drove over the bridge at least 20 times during my stay and I can not recall a single driver speeding. If anything they were doing less than 20.

Number two, in all those trips, I never one time saw a random chick anywhere close to the road. Is it really a problem?

Number three, is that particular area of the causeway a natural nesting area for Black Skimmers or was it somehow man made? I know that sounds a little nuts but I do not recall say 5 years ago, 10 years ago, having Black Skimmers there? I thought they were more in the Sound area or the National Seashore areas?
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dolfnfan
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:57 pm

To my recollection they just appeared one summer several years ago. They chose that causeway location (for some ungodly reason) and returned for a couple of years. Then one year they chose to abandon the causeway and nest in the seashore. The very next year they were back on the causeway and have been there every year since. I want to say they showed up somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 or 8 years ago?
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lvthebch
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:57 pm

That is how I remember it as well dolfnfan.

I read in the Navarre Press that the reason they choose to nest on the causeway is because the location provides protection from predators, such as coyotes, crabs, and other birds. ( According to Caroline Stahala, Panhandle Shorebird program manager for Audubon Florida.) "They also like the gravel," local photographer Kenny Wilder said.



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dolfnfan
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Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:00 am

That's interesting! I had never heard any theories as to why they picked that spot and I've always wondered. Thanks!
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Kenny Wilder
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Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:46 pm

Kenny Wilder - Facebook Page

June 22 at 2:19pm

Proposed Action to Protect Our Black Skimmers

In talking this morning with Caroline Stahala with the Florida Audubon that is the coordinator for northwest Florida regarding the nesting Black Skimmers on the Navarre Beach Bridge Causeway we both agree that the best way to protect the Black Skimmers is as follows.

1. Shore up the fallen stakes on the existing fencing and add more stakes on the eastern side of the Causeway Road to protect the Black Skimmer nesting colony. This process has already started.

2. Since the Black Skimmer primary nesting colony is in an area that is about 400 feet long along the eastern Causeway Road we propose that the parking be restricted in this particular area right next to the nesting area. And that this proposed no parking restriction start immediately until the end of the nesting season which ends about September 1.

3. We propose that on the July 4th Fireworks Show that will only be about 1,000 feet from where the Fireworks are administered, that County Deputies and FWC Enforcement Officers be present to enforce the proposed no parking zone.

4. Our proposed cautionary plan to protect the Black Skimmers nesting area of course would have to be approved by the Santa Rosa County Commissioners and or the County Sheriff. If you LIKE our proposal to protect our Black Skimmers copy and paste the above and email your concerns to all 5 Commissioners to the following:

Jayer Williamson (JayerWilliamson@santarosa.fl.gov); Robert A. "Bob" Cole (comm-cole@santarosa.fl.gov); W.D. "Don" Salter (Comm-Salter@santarosa.fl.gov); Rob Williamson (RobWilliamson@santarosa.fl.gov); Lane Lynchard (comm-lynchard@santarosa.fl.gov)

On June 22, 2015 I sent via email the above proposed “cautionary plan” that I wrote to all 5 Commissioners and they responded quickly. County workers were putting up barricades the next morning about 9:00 AM along the roadside parking area of the southeast Causeway where the largest colony of Black Skimmers are nesting. We counted over 200 adult Black Skimmers in this the largest colony.

I have been photographing the Black Skimmers on the Navarre Beach Causeway since 2003. I was aware of the Black Skimmers on the Causeway since 2000, but did not start to photograph them until 2003. They were absent from the Causeway from the severe impacts after Hurricane Ivan on September 16, 2004. The Black Skimmers tried to nest during the normal nesting season of May 1 to August 31, 2005, but there was another major interruption from Hurricane Dennis on July 10, 2005 that destroyed the nesting areas on the Causeway. This happened 10 years ago today and was the last Hurricane to hit northwest Florida. Good news for the Black Skimmers.

2006 and 2007 were very good years for the Black Skimmers. I estimate that I shot over 10,000 photos of the Black Skimmers during those two years. There were huge nesting colonies on both the east and west Causeway. I estimate in June 2006 that there were over 300 adult nesting Black Skimmers.

There was another interruption in the nesting in 2009 and 2010. The Black Skimmers showed up to nest the last week April of 2009. I counted 51 Adults in the largest colony. A few days later the County came in with heavy equipment and started to demolish broken concrete seawalls on the east side of the Causeway in an understandable effort to repair and protect the Causeway from future tropical storms or hurricanes. The next day the demolition started all the Black Skimmers left the Causeway. A few days later I was driving along the National Seashore and spotted a nesting colony of Black Skimmers. I counted 51 Adults. Could these have been the same 51 Black Skimmers that Left the Causeway?

In 2010 the County construction with heavy equipment that continued up to the time of late April and throughout the year. And of course the Black Skimmers did not nest along the Causeway during 2011 either. Now you know why they did not nest during those two years.

I’m in close communication with Audubon Florida and their team for northwest Florida. The say that the largest Black Skimmer colony in northwest Florida is along the Navarre Beach Causeway. Since they are here to nest every year I think we should do everything that we can to protect them.

SAD NEWS
A few days ago I was notified by a couple that know. They witnessed a lady getting out of her vehicle and dragging a very heavy boat over the bird protection fence that crushed the nesting area to the Sound. Emily Stein with Audubon Florida emailed me two days ago that several adult Black Skimmers were killed. The woman’s license tag info was reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Law Enforcement. Hopefully, this woman will be convicted in a court of law and punished with jail time.

INTERESTING INFO
Audubon Florida has notified me to help them monitor a Black Skimmer colony on top of the flat gravel roof of the Winn Dixie Shopping Center. This is not a joke folks.
Kenny Wilder
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AngelGirl
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:23 am

Thank you for the very informative report, Kenny. I was privileged to photograph these wonderful and interesting birds during our years in the FL Panhandle and to participate in the fencing at least one of those years.

There are plenty of other places, as well as actual boat ramps, to LEGALLY put a boat in on the Sound, aren't there? ... I cannot understand why anyone would intentionally choose the spot that woman chose. :?
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PensacolaKid
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:56 am

Thank you Kenny for that detailed report. Very interesting. Yes, that woman was and is a stupid, selfish idiot. I am glad I did not see it. She would have been physically held under a citizen arrest and her boat would have unfortunately been sunk or destroyed....you know, from pulling it across gravel and all. :evil:
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AngelGirl
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:55 am

PensacolaKid wrote:Thank you Kenny for that detailed report. Very interesting. Yes, that woman was and is a stupid, selfish idiot. I am glad I did not see it. She would have been physically held under a citizen arrest and her boat would have unfortunately been sunk or destroyed....you know, from pulling it across gravel and all. :evil:
In that case, I'm surely glad you weren't there! Would really hate it if our PK had to be thrown in the clink for, gee, I dunno ... maybe "false imprisonment" or something!! :shock: You really do have an "expressive" way with words, PK! ;) (He's really gentle as a lamb ... don't let his "tough guy" facade fool ya!)

A.G.
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PensacolaKid
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:00 am

Nope, we as citizens can make a citizen's arrest. She broke I assume at least a couple of laws. Now as far as the boat goes, gravel can do a lot of damage to a boat!!!! Perhaps with a wee bit of help though. Like liberals, I have zero tolerance for people who prey on the elderly, children or animals or that think of no one but themselves.
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David
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:21 am

P'cola,

Perhaps it did not happen on one of the many "days" you spend in our little paradise or you would remember, years ago, when Mama Dale (Kenny's itty bittie wife) stopped her car on the causeway, got out and stood in traffic in order to stop cars because of the little chicks in the road. She would not let them get hurt, even at risk to herself. She truly deserves the title of "Mama Dale", has a heart much bigger than she is.

Yes, they do get out in the road, have to hatch first though, then they begin to explore without the knowledge of the dangers, as yet, like most all youth. Perhaps, some day, you will get the experience of seeing them hatch and begin to roam before they learn to fly.

Hope they are able to prosecute the woman with the boat, she deserves her nest to be ruined as she did to the defensless birds!
David
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PensacolaKid
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Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:36 am

More like, weeks, David (I do not live there of course but I am there far more than anyone other than my wife knows and I don't reveal when I am there most of those times....I do a tremendous amount of work with the Pensacola and Mobile hospitals) and I have seen them roaming and did so in fact this past week. Just not roaming in the road and again, not saying it does not happen, I am sure it does but during the 22 +trips back and forth (at least) this trip and including my other trip in May, I did not experience it once. What surprised me was the adherence to the speed limit by everyone I encountered.

I am not sure why the County does not simply fence in the entire section of the causeway during this hatching to prevent them entirely from roaming in the street? Or, do something to the causeway to prevent them from nesting there and forcing them back to the national seashore? Granite boulders, chips, etc.? That is after the hatching season.
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David
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Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:46 am

My post was really about Mama Dale and her experience with the birds on the causeway that you apparently missed, not about how many days you spend here or in Mobile.

Personally, don't think the County should interfere with the birds any more than already done. If the birds prefer the causeway, it's thier decision according to thier instincts, we should only help protect them and their chicks, as they do, instead of forcing them to nest among the predators. Many do not realise the number of racoons and other predators that live along the beach, the reason the turtle nest are fenced. Not only would the eggs be in danger of being eaten but also the little ones as they hatch.

As we have heard before, "Don't mess with Mother Nature!".
David
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Kenny Wilder
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Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:38 pm

Because this discussion about the nesting Black Skimmers on the Navarre Beach Bridge Causeway is so important, I have started a new Topic that should shed some light on what we have learned over the years on how to best protect our Black Skimmers on the Causeway. To learn more click on the link below.

http://www.navarrebeachlife.com/forums/ ... =1&t=11291

Of course you guys are free to continue your discussion on this Topic’s thread.
Kenny Wilder
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Sandstomper
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Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:11 pm

Great info on The Black Skimmers. I did not know too much about them, but have learned a great deal with this post. Since I have not been in Navarre during the volunteer times to help with fencing etc., I did want to support the effort by purchasing the Save The Flightless Chicks stickers. Am I the only one to have seen them around or does anyone have a lead on where to purchase. Google has been of no help.

Thanks!
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