There is no more traditional way for children to celebrate Easter than to hunt for colorful, hidden eggs – unless they’re creating a Snowy Plover chick! Audubon Florida participated in the 15th Annual Siesta Key Village Easter Egg Hunt & Games on Siesta Key Beach with an educational activity to help children and their families learn more about the beach-nesting birds in Sarasota County.
Over 150 children and parents grabbed cotton balls and toothpicks and customized their very own, tiny Snowy Plover chicks while learning about the other shorebird families with which they share the beach. Photos of Snowy Plovers, Least Terns, and Black Skimmers were on hand to illustrate the learning activity, along with examples of beach signs and symbolic posting used to protect active nests and foraging habitat for bird families. Children took home instructions to make more of their own cotton-ball chicks and share this activity with friends.
Seven to nine pairs of Snowy Plovers nest on Siesta Key beach annually, along with a small flock of Least Terns. On nearby Lido Beach, over 350 Black Skimmers nest on the public beach beginning in mid-May. In 2015, the skimmer colony produced about 185 chicks that survived to take flight as the next generation.
Bird stewards are needed on both Siesta Key and Lido Beach through the end of summer. If you are willing to volunteer 3 hours per week or 3 hours per month, please contact email@example.com for more information about training and volunteering as an Audubon bird steward.