October 2017 Wrack Line Newsletter

October Wrack Line Cover Photo

Message from the FSA Coordinator

Greeting Shorebird Lovers,

 In the wake of hurricane Irma, I hope you are recovering and reorienting well and are receiving ample support.  For those who lost major possessions, you are in our thoughts and hearts.  In the short time since the hurricane passed, Florida Shorebird Alliance partners have stepped up in a big way to assess damage and changes to beach-nesting bird habitat.  And even in the most damaged areas, you are still holding the post-season partnership meetings.  Your dedication to shorebird conservation is awe-inspiring.  Thank you for showing up for the birds amidst your own challenges.  We truly have one of the strongest conservation alliances around!  I look forward to seeing you at the meetings.

All the best,

Shea Armstrong, FSA Coordinator

FSA Partnership Meetings:

October 5: Panhandle Working Group, 10am - 3pm (CST), Gulf Coast State College, Panama City. Contact Ashley.Warren@myfwc.com

October 5: Suncoast Partnership, 1-3pm, Eckerd College, St. Pete.  RSVP to forysea@eckerd.edu

October 11: Florida Keys Partnership, 9:30-11:30am, State Government Building, Marathon. Contact keywestwildlifecenter@hotmail.com

October 11: Nature Coast Partnership, 12-3pm, George KirkPatrick Marine Laboratory, Cedar Key. Contact megan.wallrichs@myfwc.com

October 12: Southeast Partnership: 10-12:30pm, NOVA Southeast University, Ft. Lauderdale. Contact shorebird@myfwc.com

October 12: St. John's/Flagler Partnership, 1-4pm, Alligator Farm, St. Augustine. Contact cfarrell@audubon.org

October 13: Collier Partnership, 1-4pm, Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, Naples. Contact adinuovo@audubon.org

October 18: Treasure Coast Partnership, 9:30am - 12pm, St. Lucie County’s Richard E. Becker Preserve. Contact Heather.Hitt@myfwc.com 

October 26: Space Coast Partnership, 10am - 12:30pm, Cocoa Beach Public Library. Contact Heather.Hitt@myfwc.com

October 26: Timucuan Partnership, 10am - 1pm, Ribault Club, Jacksonville. Contact blair.hayman@myfwc.com

November 1: Volusia Partnership, 1-4pm, Beach Safety Headquarters, Daytona Beach. Contact jwinters@volusia.org


October 7: Birds of the Beach, Rookery Bay

October 20: Florida Shorebird Data Entry Deadline

October 20-21: Audubon Assembly

October 21: Marine Quest

November 10-12: Florida Ornithological Society Fall Meeting

FSA News

Black Skimmer Band Origins

 Help Us Track the Mysterious Black Skimmers!

-Beth Forys 


Florida and New York started banding Black Skimmers in 2015, New Jersey and North Carolina joined in 2016 and now Massachusetts and Texas have begun banding too.  All of this work has been done with Federal and State banding permits.  There is little research on movements or survival of Black Skimmers, but based on what we’ve observed in the past 3 years, it seems like the northern birds do migrate south, often to Florida.  Florida birds seem to move around the state, and one was seen in Georgia.  

Currently, each state is using a different color band but all bands have a letter and either 1 or 2 numbers.  

If you see a banded skimmer, please record the color of the band and color of the code and try and read the letter and numbers.  Then, take a moment to input the data into the Black Skimmer Banding Project Form. 

We hope the banding data will help us determine:

-which habitats are important for skimmers outside the breeding season

-survival of fledges and adults

-at what age skimmers breed and do they return to their natal colony?

-do they mate for life or just the season?

What we have learned so far:

To date we have banded 147 skimmer fledges in Pinellas County (Tampa Bay area) and Adam DiNouvo (Audubon Florida) has banded 94 in Collier County.  These birds have been resighting >1,800 times in the past 3 years!  None of our 1 year old birds nested, but several 2 year olds did and a few were successful.  Some returned to their natal colony, but most did not.  Tampa Bay birds move throughout the state during the non-breeding season, some spending most of their time in one place, while others move around.  Most either stayed in Tampa Bay or went south, but several were seen north of our area or on the east coast.  A92 (banded at St Pete Beach in June 2016) was seen in May in Louisiana, then at Lido Key in August.  In both Pinellas and Collier County we have seen birds banded from other states throughout the year. 

Black Skimmer Movement

FSD Updates

FSD banner

The data entry deadline for the Florida Shorebird Database has been extended to Friday, October, 20, 2017


Due to the impacts of hurricane Irma, the deadline for entering data into the Florida Shorebird Database (FSD) is extended to October 20, 2017. Once you enter your data, our team will review all the records and archive them in the database for future analysis and reporting.

After the October 20th deadline, you will still be able to view and download your data, but you will no longer be able to add new surveys and site visits. So if you're not quite done with data entry yet, remember to do it before October 20th. 

If you have errors or issues entering data into the FSD, please email FLShorebirdDatabase@myFWC.com.  We consistently strive to improve your experience using the FSD website. Reporting errors helps us find and fix issues that make it easier to include your invaluable data in the statewide monitoring efforts. 


Thank you for your hard work monitoring the birds this breeding season! 

Data Entry Check List

Ebb Tidings