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Ormond Nest Update June 16, 2023


Total Nests

Active

Hatched

Fail

Snowy Plover

42

17

22

3

Least Tern

13

13

0

0

Nesting season is really bustling and things are going great so far. Nesting for snowy plovers is still at a peak with 43 breeding adults . Another record high for Ormond Beach. Tern nest numbers have increased, but it doesn't look like we are going to get a big colony this year. That probably means nesting is going well at Point Mugu, which is our next door neighbor. Mugu has a large colony most years and terns favor this site over Ormond. They typically only nest at Ormond in large numbers when the primary colony at Mugu is hit hard by predators.


Trail Camera Highlights!

Horned Lark

Horned larks share habitat with snowy plovers and least terns. We often find their nests. Horned larks chicks are fledging from nests in the same dunes as our plovers and terns and their curious fledglings keep showing up on our trail camera footage. This juvenile horned lark is stealing the show from the nesting plover over it's right shoulder. Sometimes nesting plovers get aggressive with horned larks that get too close, but they don't seem to regard them as a serious threat. Just an annoyance.



Coyote

Our trail cameras caught some interesting things this week. A coyote visited nest #20, but fortunately wasn't interested in eating the eggs. We see coyote prints all over the dunes in our surveys. We've lost least tern nests to coyote, but it seems they are interested in bigger things right now. There have been dead sea mammals at the tideline which they often scavenge, and this provides a much bigger meal than bird eggs.


Nest 31 Hatch

This same nest hatched 4 days after they coyote visit. We used this footage for our Father's Day post on instagram:



Fireworks

Fireworks give people who work with snowy plovers and least terns severe anxiety. We get that it's fun and exciting for a lot of people. It's hard to explain the fear and distress it causes in birds. They don't get it. We were really luck to catch this video of the brooding male on nest 24 reacting to fireworks in the distance. It looks like somewhere in Oxnard someone set off some pretty big fireworks the night of Tuesday June 13 around 8:38 pm. It's far away, but these birds are extremely sensitive to their environment. It made this brooding male get off it's nest, which is just to the left of this bird in the vegetation. Fireworks are a big disturbance to nesting birds.













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