Coastal Conservation

Big Bend's Over-wintering Shorebirds Depart for Points North

Pat and Doris Leary's stunning photo-log of Avocets, White Pelicans, and more

Pat and Doris Leary are avid naturalists and conservationists from Fernandina Beach, FL, who volunteer their time and substantial skills to survey coastal waterbirds in Northeast Florida, coastal Georgia and Florida’s Big Bend. In 2015, they received Audubon's prestigious Guy Bradley Award for their significant contributions to knowledge about the life histories of imperiled and non-imperiled birds in Florida.

Pat and Doris Leary have conducted critically important bird surveys on Florida's Big Bend coastal islands, shoals, and oyster rakes from September through March each year since 2006. Their final survey of the 2016-2017 season turned up lower counts of shorebirds than in mid-winter, as expected, because many have already flown northward to find mates on breeding grounds. The Learys' photos tell the story of their final survey on the water and on the mainland too!

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