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CT DEEP AAfCW Beach Training

Posted on Apr 21, 2016

A big thank you to the volunteers who attended Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection training on how to monitor Piping Plovers and Least Terns at Sandy/Morse Points in West Haven this past Sunday. CT DEEP Wildlife Biologist Laura Saucier was joined by Audubon Connecticut Waterbird Technician Ewa Holland and me in my role as Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds Volunteer Coordinator. We gathered with our monitors on the beach on a truly beautiful Sunday morning with the sun shining brightly on the shore. Laura discussed the finer points of how to approach these birds, their biology, the best method to count them safely, why we need to educate the public, and more. While terns do not arrive until around May 1, we had several pairs of Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers to view.

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016 PIPL-0101-2

Piping Plover

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016-9918

Signs by young students, like this one about an American Oystercatcher, are more effective in transmitting our message and less likely to be ripped down

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016-9916

Nearly all Connecticut beaches do not allow dogs on them at any time of the year due to the public health and safety risk, let alone endangered species. We love dogs, but they are one of the biggest issues we face each season.

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016-9927

Checking out Piping Plovers within the fenced areas of the dune

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016-9929

Walking along the water near the tidal line is usually the safest place to be to protect our birds and their nests

CT DEEP Sandy Morse training 2016-9933

A wonderful habitat amidst a developed and urban environment

If you would like to join us on the Connecticut shore this spring and summer please email us at [email protected] to sign-up. Even if you cannot regularly monitor a beach you may be able to assist in outreach or education, lend a hand at string fencing and signage parties, or survey for other waterbird species. We usually have at least 200, and sometimes 300 or 400, dedicated, caring volunteers each year, and we would love to have you become one of them. Thank you!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator