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Empty Nests Will Soon Be Filled

Does anyone recognize this? It’s a killdeer nest, but they haven’t laid eggs yet. There are several species of bird that build nests on the mudflats around our salt ponds. (I use the terms “build” and “nest” pretty loosely here, because there isn’t much of a nest to speak of.) Right now, we’re at the beginning of the nesting season.

There are a few things people should know if they want to help these birds raise their chicks successfully:

– If you’re walking on a mudflat at this time of year, be very careful. It can be extremely hard to see some of these nests, so it’s easy to step on one.

– If you see a nest, don’t stay near it for too long if there are eggs, especially during midday. If the parents can’t sit on the eggs, they can get too hot and die.

– If you normally let your dog run around in these areas, please don’t for the next few months. Take him or her to the beach instead. Even though the nests are hard to see, dogs can smell them and will eat eggs and chicks.

– Don’t ride ATVs/quads around these areas during the next few months. It would be best to never do that, but now is the worst time.


Here are a few photos of birds nesting on our mudflats:

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