Now You Know: Nesting season for SWFLA coastal birds is underway

Boaters and beachgoers urged to give space to nesting birds along area beaches

Will Watts
Wilson’s plover.

Beach-nesting birds have begun their breeding season. “Spring and summer seasons mark critical times of year for these vulnerable species, as they must avoid human disturbance, storms, and predators to successfully raise their chicks,” says Renee Wilson, on behalf of Audubon Florida.

“Sea and shorebirds lay their eggs right on the sand. They perceive people and dogs as threats and will take flight whenever beachgoers, or their dogs, approach too closely. Repeated human disturbance often results in birds abandoning the colony.”

To limit the human disturbance of nesting birds, important nesting areas are posted, or roped off, and closed to people while the state-Threatened birds incubate eggs and raise chicks.

In Collier County, Second Chance Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) is now closed to boater access and landing through Aug. 31 to allow for the birds to nest undisturbed. The shell island is located at the south end of Cape Romano, south of Marco Island.

“Additional postings will be put up on Collier’s historically important nesting beaches, like Big Marco CWA, Morgan Beach, and Dickman’s Point, in the coming weeks as the birds choose nesting locations for their 2023 summer breeding season,” said Rochelle Streker, Audubon’s Southwest Florida Shorebird Program Manager.

Postings often consist of informational signs connected with string and flagging around nesting birds, particularly the state-protected, beach-nesting species.

“Upon encountering recreational boaters or beachcombers at a closed area, we educate them about the meaning of a CWA, the activities of the birds in this area, and the importance of keeping a safe distance to avoid disturbances to the bird population,” says Filomena. “Engaging the visitors is critical to helping them understand the breeding and migratory patterns of the birds, and goes a long way in protecting flocks,” she added.

Learn more at Fl.Audubon.org.

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Shy Wolf Sanctuary ‘On the Table SWFL’ discussion

Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education and Experience Center will be hosting 10 special guests for an “On The Table SWFL” from 9 until 11 a.m., Thursday, March 30. The event will be facilitated by the organization’s executive director, Deanna Deppen.

Guests that are registered for the Shy Wolf Sanctuary table will learn more about the organization’s Healing Hearts Program and how the connection between humans and animals promotes emotional and psychological healing.

Most of the Sanctuary’s resident animals were rescued from abuse, neglect, and abandonment, but with the right care and support they are able to recover and live their best lives. Through the Healing Hearts program, Shy Wolf facilitates a connection between these animals and people who have suffered through similar traumatic situations. The animals teach the importance of kindness, forgiveness, and unconditional love to heal from the wounds of the heart and give courage for the future.

On The Table SWFL encourages groups, organizations, friends, and neighbors to gather around a small table to create meaningful conversations that will benefit the communities within Southwest Florida.

Learn more at www.ShyWolfSanctuary.org.

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Annual Collier County ‘Passport Saturday’ slated

The Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court will be holding Passport Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at the Heritage Bay Government Services Center located at 15450 Collier Blvd, Naples.

Passport Saturday is a one-day event held all throughout the state to accommodate residents who are planning to apply for a United States passport but are unable to do so on a regular workweek. Eligible individuals can submit their applications on a weekend without having to take time off during office hours.

To be eligible to participate in this Passport Saturday, residents must either be a first-time passport applicant or be applying for a renewal with an expired passport that was issued more than 15 years ago. Most other passport applications can be renewed through the mail.

Applicants must bring all required documentation including proof of U.S. Citizenship, proof of identity, a recent color passport photograph, application fees, and completed application forms. Application fees are accepted in the form of check or money order only.

Residents who are interested in attending Passport Saturday are advised to learn more about the requirements and application processes by visiting CollierClerk.com/Passports prior to the day of the event. Additional details about passport applications for minors (children under 16 and children aged 16-17), U.S. Passport Cards, and passport renewals are also available on the website.

Throughout the month of February, purchases of the $2.99 Reusable Community Bag each generated a $1 donation to For the Love of Cats.

For the Love of Cats receives donation from Marco Island Winn Dixie

For the Love of Cats has received a donation of $143 from the Winn Dixie on Marco Island through the store’s Community Bag Program.

Throughout the month of February, purchases of the $2.99 Reusable Community Bag each generated a $1 donation to For the Love of Cats. The Winn Dixie Community Bag Program, which launched in February 2019, is a reusable bag program that facilitates community support with the goal to make a difference in the communities where shoppers live and work.

For the Love of Cats was selected as the February beneficiary of the program by store leadership at the Winn Dixie located at 625 N. Collier Blvd, Marco Island, FL.

“We can’t thank Steve, the store manager, and his staff enough for selecting us as the beneficiary,” said Jan Rich, executive director of For the Love of Cats. “We want to thank all the shoppers who not only purchased a bag for our cause but also took the time to learn about our organization and what their donations would be going towards.”

Learn more about the organization by calling 239-642-8674 or visiting www.fortheloveofcatsfl.com.