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8 Roving Reporter | "Progress!..." by Cissy Beasley via Save the Skimmers Group

"A Black Skimmer parent protects its chick from
menacing Laughing Gulls, at Rockport Beach Park
during the 2014 nesting season."
Photo by Cissy Beasley
"Progress! Today (2/18/15) I heard from David Newstead, the Director of Bird Conservation with Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program.

There was a "don't feed the gulls" flyer which was printed and distributed in 2013 to Rockport Beach Park visitors. David sent it to me, and I am revising it to include a message regarding the harm done by humans by getting too close and scaring the birds off their nests, thus exposing eggs and chicks to predation.

I believe most people would change their behavior if they thought it was doing harm...at least we all have that hope!

Stand by for more updates on the flyer, and thank you for your interest in helping the Skimmers!" - Cissy Beasley, Facebook Group Organizer



Way to go, Cissy. Let us know what we can do as the nesting season 2015 is coming up fast.


This is great news. The feeding of the wild birds has often caused me anxiety because I know what it does to the other more aggressive species like gulls. I'm glad to know I am not the only one, and finally there is some organized movement towards educations. Yes, way to go Cissy and friends!


I think your efforts are great. My only concern is that there also needs to be awareness among the photography community. Tourists and visitors get to close out of ignorance which will be helped by the flyers, if they are read. Photographers, though not all, know that a bird in flight is a much better "shot" than one sitting on the ground or a nest....


Thanks for this information. Skimmers like to nest in gritty sand. The last time I looked at the nesting areas in the beach park, the only exposed sand was where standing water from heavy rains and salt water from high tides killed the plants. Those marshy flood-prone areas present a danger to any eggs or chicks. Are there any plans to grade or bulldoze some of the grass away in the fenced nesting sites to expose more sand for the birds to safely raise chicks?


I certainly will - thank you so much!


Yes, and we all must speak about this issue to others, and ask them to promote the message of protecting the Skimmers through not feeding the gulls and by leaving the colony alone. Thank you for your support!


As a photographer, I am extremely sensitive to the challenges Skimmers face, brought on by some photographers. Part of my message addresses that issue, both on the new flyer as well as in my photography circles and on Facebook. We must check our quest for "the" photo at the door in order to promote the well-being of these birds.

As a side note, I have learned that apart from the Skimmers at the park, those that next on spoil islands are also compromised by people who kayak and boaters who beach their boats. Anything that causes birds to fly when they weren't intending to is disruptive and stressful to them. These messages need to be taken to heart and broadcast loudly and clearly; Facebook and WWN are two excellent forums for this, and I appreciate the interest of WWN in sharing these messages - to be continued!


Susan - thank you for your comment and question; not to my awareness. The Aransas County Navigation District commissioners would be the folks to hear your concerns, as they can do something about them! Here is the ACND web site: http://www.acnd.org; the list of commissioners can be found there. Thank you again!

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